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The effects of facial emotions upon orienting visual attention Dr. David Crundall Rm 315 Office hours: 10 am – 12 noon,

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Presentation on theme: "The effects of facial emotions upon orienting visual attention Dr. David Crundall Rm 315 Office hours: 10 am – 12 noon,"— Presentation transcript:

1 The effects of facial emotions upon orienting visual attention Dr. David Crundall Rm 315 Office hours: 10 am – 12 noon, Wed. Catherine Thompson Rm 320 email:

2 In class: Outside class: Week 1: Introductory lecture; devise initial design Week 2: Finalise design; set up and pilot experiment Week 3: Problem solving class Week 4: Analyse data Week 5: Present results to the group Week 1: Reading and discussion in experiment groups Week 2: Piloting can be done outside class Week 3: Run all participants Week 4: Finish analysis and write talk Week 5: Write up the project

3 Todays session Q1. Do emotional faces capture our attention? Q2. Do emotional faces direct our attention? After the background lecture you will split into groups of three. Have a look at the experimental templates in E-prime and decide in your group which question you want to answer and which variables you wish to manipulate.

4 A quick (re)introduction to attention The spotlight metaphor of attention (e.g. Eriksen & Eriksen, 1974) Modifications include the zoom lens metaphor (e.g. Eriksen and Yeh, 1985) and the gradient model (La Berge, 1989) Attention moves like the eyes (often preceding eye movements) focusing first on one thing and then the next How do we shift attention? These theories evolved from the single channel theories of Broadbent and others.

5 Four types of attention shift Automatic (Superior Colliculus) Controlled (Prefrontal, FEFs) Overt Covert Reflexive saccade (e.g express saccade, target ellicited saccade) Voluntary saccade (e.g anti-saccade) Exogenous attention Endogenous attention Sereno, 1992

6 Peripheral cuing: X F

7 Peripheral cuing… orients attention quickly (Cheal & Lyon, 1991), benefits for the cued location occur without costs to the uncued location (Posner & Snyder, 1975), the cue does not need to be predictive (Jonides, 1981), benefits rapidly disappear over time (Muller & Rabbitt, 1989). Also called exogenous orienting

8 Central cuing: X F <

9 Central cuing… orients attention more slowly can produce costs for uncued locations can be overcome by conscious (top-down) control also called endogenous orienting There has been much argument about whether these two types of cue effect represent two distinct underlying systems.

10 Q1. Do emotional faces capture attention like a peripheral cue? Negative faces are easier than happy faces to pick out of a matrix of neutral faces (Hanson & Hanson, 1988; Fox et al., 2000) Hermans, Vansteenwegen and Eelen (1999) found Ss looked more at spiders than flowers in a display at short durations. From 2000-3000 ms however the high spider-anxious Ss looked less at spiders and more at flowers. Vigilance- avoidance? Rohner (2002) found the same with pairs of faces RTs to a probe task were faster when the probe occupied the location of an angry or fearful face (Bradley, Mogg, & Miller, 1998; Fox, 2001)

11 + F

12 Q2. Do emotional faces direct attention like a central cue? Friesen and Kingstone,1998: They believed that gaze direction was of special significance in orienting an observers focus of attention. Using schematic faces they found that participants were faster to respond to targets that were validly cued by gaze direction. Though gaze direction was a central cue, the results were more akin to those found using a peripheral cue.

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14 Matthews et al. 2003: They used photos of faces showing fear (compared to neutral-emotion, control faces). Gaze direction could be a valid, invalid or neutral predictors of target location: They used two Stimulus Onset Asynchronies: 300 ms and 700 ms F T F Valid Invalid Neutral

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16 F

17 Matthews et al. 2003: They found that fear faces produced faster responses to validly cued targets than faces with no emotion – but only in high anxiety (HA) individuals. HAs were also slower when the fear faces had a central gaze (a neutral cue) suggesting that they had difficulty disengaging from a fear face. A small pilot study however failed to replicate these results with anger (perhaps something to do with amygdala function? – Adams et al, 2003).

18 Problems with Matthews et al. study: 1.They used valid, invalid, and neutral gaze cues. However the neutral gaze cues removed temporal cues as well as location cue. 2.If fear faces make us orient attention in order to identify the location of a threat, surely starting with a direct-gaze fearful face, places the source of the fear with the observer? Use criticisms of others research as starting points for your own design

19 F

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21 Neutral, Fear, Anger, Disgust – Happy faces could also be arranged! Things to consider for your experiment

22 Obvious Factors to manipulate: 2 levels3 levels Cue ValidityValid vs invalidvs neutral? EmotionNeutral vs fearvs anger? SOAse.g. 300 vs 700vs 1100? Cue predictability? 50:50 vs 70:30vs 30:70? Participant anxiety High vs low There are many more less obvious factors that might be more exciting

23 Cuing effects will be increased if more time is given to process the face before the cue appears Vary cue validity and time from face onset to cue onset Fear faces will produce greater cuing benefits at short SOAs Vary cue validity, facial emotion, and SOA Highly anxious individuals will show a greater sensitivity to cue predictability than low anxious individuals Vary cue validity, cue predictability, and participant anxiety. Only use fear faces, or use fear and neutral faces, creating a fourth variable Which type of Analysis of Variance is most appropriate for each design? Sample hypotheses:

24 Where to run and save your experiment: The Psychology Server Your personal file space Practicals on 'XServe (upsyc)' class_share on 'XServe (upsyc)' Write protected

25 Where to run and save your experiment: Copy a template from the Practicals folder into either your personal server area or a class_share folder (pros and cons to each) Modify the template to produce your experiment. To run the experiment, copy down the e-prime file to the C drive of the computer you are working on. Place it in DECs Second Yr Lab When your participant has finished copy the data files back to either your personal server area or your class_share folder.

26 Mistakes to avoid Dont get your SOAs and your ISIs mixed up A neutral cue is not the same as a neutral emotion Dont forget to make sure that your subjects are sitting at an exact distance from the screen Do not run your experiment from the server. All your timings will be incorrect Do not leave data on the C drive of any computer (preferably save it to your personal server space)

27 What next? Get into groups of three or four Have a look at the e-prime template experiment available in practicals\DECs Second Yr Lab on the server Discuss your design in your group Have your basic design agreed with the lecturer or the demonstrator before you leave.

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