the effects of facial emotions upon orienting visual attention
Skip this Video
Download Presentation
The effects of facial emotions upon orienting visual attention

Loading in 2 Seconds...

play fullscreen
1 / 27

The effects of facial emotions upon orienting visual attention - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

  • Uploaded on

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

I am the owner, or an agent authorized to act on behalf of the owner, of the copyrighted work described.
Download Presentation

PowerPoint Slideshow about 'The effects of facial emotions upon orienting visual attention' - parker

An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation

Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Presentation Transcript
the effects of facial emotions upon orienting visual attention

The effects of facial emotions upon orienting visual attention

Dr. David Crundall

Rm 315

[email protected]

Office hours: 10 am – 12 noon, Wed.

Catherine Thompson

Rm 320 email: [email protected]

in class outside class
In class: Outside class:
  • 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
  • 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
today s session
Today’s 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.

a quick re introduction to attention
These theories evolved from the single channel theories of Broadbent and others.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?
four types of attention shift
Four types of attention shift


(Superior Colliculus)


(Prefrontal, FEFs)

Reflexive saccade

(e.g express saccade, target ellicited saccade)

Voluntary saccade

(e.g anti-saccade)


Exogenous attention

Endogenous attention


Sereno, 1992

peripheral cuing7
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
central cuing9
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.

q1 do emotional faces capture attention like a peripheral cue
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)

q2 do emotional faces direct attention like a central cue
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 observer’s 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.

matthews et al 2003






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
matthews et al 200317
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) .

problems with matthews et al study
Use criticisms of others’ research as starting points for your own designProblems with Matthews et al. study:
  • They used valid, invalid, and neutral gaze cues. However the neutral gaze cues removed temporal cues as well as location cue.
  • 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?
Things to consider for your experiment

Neutral, Fear, Anger, Disgust – Happy faces could also be arranged!

sample hypotheses
Which type of Analysis of Variance is most appropriate for each design?Sample hypotheses:

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

where to run and save your experiment
Where to run and save your experiment:

The Psychology Server

Practicals on 'XServe (upsyc)'

Write protected

class_share on 'XServe (upsyc)'

Your personal file space

where to run and save your experiment25
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.
mistakes to avoid
Mistakes to avoid
  • Don’t get your SOAs and your ISIs mixed up
  • A neutral cue is not the same as a neutral emotion
  • Don’t 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)
what next
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.