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Nathan Wispinski, Bruce Nip, James Enns, Craig Chapman; More than distractor devaluation: The emotional boost of grasping a real object. Journal of Vision 2015;15(12):1353. doi: 10.1167/15.12.1353.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
How we attend to visual images influences their subsequent affective evaluation, such that images we ignore are evaluated more negatively than those we actively attend (Raymond & Fenske, 2006). Here we ask whether this also applies to real objects, specifically those we must avoid (obstacles) and those we must grasp (targets), when reaching in three-dimensional space. To answer this question, we combined the attend-ignore factor of previous attention research with the obstacle-target factor that is relevant when reaching in personal space. Each trial in the experiment involved presenting different images of abstract art on two objects (iPods) resting upright on a tabletop. Participants were cued to reach and grasp one of the two objects based on the class of artwork being presented. Thus, the art presented on each trial could be classified as belonging to the grasp target, the grasp obstacle, or a neutral distractor (an object that did not impede limb movement). Following each successful grasp of the target object, an abstract art image was displayed on one of the two objects and participants rated its cheeriness–the affective evaluation dimension in most distractor devaluation research. The results indicated large grasp target enhancement effects. Namely, abstract art images appearing on the grasp target were rated more positively than the same art when it appeared on a distractor, on an obstacle, or was novel art that had not been previously displayed. This finding contrasts sharply with previous research on the emotional consequences of attention, which have been largely distractor devaluation effects. This also implies that the emotion-attention link is different during action tasks than in studies of covert attention. Specifically, it implies there are stronger positive emotional tags associated with attending and acting on an object than merely attending to it.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2015
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