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Yael Afiki, Moshe Bar; Mental state affects visual performance. Journal of Vision 2017;17(10):1170. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/17.10.1170.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Mood affects perception, biases judgment, and disrupts processing. Previous studies have shown that positive mood tends to correlate with broad associative thinking, while negative mood correlates more with narrow associative thinking. Moreover, in the reverse direction, studies have demonstrated that mood improves after processing information with broader associative span. In the present study, we examined this promising link by testing whether visual performance is influenced by associative thinking. We used pairs of associative images (presumably to promote positive mood) and pairs of unassociated images, and tested the effects on three different visual paradigms: 1.contrast sensitivity, 2. global vs. local perception, and 3. critical flicker fusion. In agreement with our hypothesis, our findings suggest that visual perception is influenced by associations (and similarly by mood). We found that associative thinking was accompanied by better visual performance relative to unassociated thinking in all three visual aspects. Thus, it seems that associations have a beneficial effect on visual performance, possibly through the induction of positive mood.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2017
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