Advertisement

Color perception influences attention processing in females with different attachment styles

  • Yuanxiao Ma
  • Na Hu
  • Xing Zhang
  • Guangzeng Liu
  • Xu Chen
Article
  • 56 Downloads

Abstract

Secure and insecure attachment are associated with different patterns of attention to infant emotions. However, accumulating evidence suggests that color perception influences emotional processing, especially the color red, which may represent threatening information. To explore whether the red color context has a modulating effect on attention processing of infant emotions between adult females with insecure attachment and those with secure attachment, the brain activity was measured using event-related potentials. We found that, relative to a green context, a red context elevated the early attention vigilance (P1 amplitude) to neutral infant faces in anxious females and, later, motivation attention (P3 amplitude) to neutral infant faces in secure females compared to avoidant females. Furthermore, a red context also elevated the P1 amplitude to crying infant faces in avoidant females. The present findings suggested that a red context, which may represent threatening information, elicits processing defects in attention to infant emotions in anxious and avoidant females, whereas it produces an enhanced effect on attention function in secure females.

Keywords

Color context Attention processing Infant facial expression Attachment style Event-related potentials 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The research was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) Grant number 31771232 and Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (No. SWU1809353).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Nothing to declare.

References

  1. Benton, C. P. (2010). Rapid reactions to direct and averted facial expressions of fear and anger. Visual Cognition, 18(9), 1298–1319.Google Scholar
  2. Bertrams, A., Baumeister, R. F., Englert, C., & Furley, P. (2015). Ego depletion in color priming research: Self-control strength moderates the detrimental effect of red on cognitive test performance. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 41(3), 311–322.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Bowlby, J. (1980). Attachment and loss: Loss, sadness and depression (Vol. 3). New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  4. Brooker, A., & Franklin, A. (2016). The effect of colour on children’s cognitive performance. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 86(2), 241–255.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Brosch, T., Sander, D., & Scherer, K. R. (2007). That baby caught my eye…attention capture by infant faces. Emotion, 7(3), 685–689.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Buechner, V. L., Maier, M. A., Lichtenfeld, S., & Schwarz, S. (2014). Red-take a closer look. PLoS One, 9(9), e108111.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  7. Chan, A. H., & Courtney, A. J. (2001). Color associations for Hong Kong Chinese. International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, 28(3–4), 165–170.Google Scholar
  8. Changizi, M. A. (2009). The vision revolution: How the latest research overturns everything we thought we knew about human vision. Dallas: BenBella Books.Google Scholar
  9. Chavis, J. M., & Kisley, M. A. (2012). Adult attachment and motivated attention to social images: Attachment-based differences in event-related brain potentials to emotional images. Journal of Research in Personality, 46(1), 55–62.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Cheng, G., Zhang, D. J., Guan, Y. S., & Chen, Y. H. (2015). Preliminary establishment of the standardized Chinese infant facial expression of emotion. Chinese Mental Health Journal, 29, 406–412.  https://doi.org/10.3969/j.issn.1000-6729.2015.06.002.Google Scholar
  11. Clarke, T., & Costall, A. (2008). The emotional connotations of color: A qualitative investigation. Color Research & Application, 33(5), 406–410.Google Scholar
  12. Dan, O., & Raz, S. (2012). Adult attachment and emotional processing biases: An event-related potentials (ERPs) study. Biological Psychology, 91(2), 212–220.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Delorme, A., & Makeig, S. (2004). EEGLAB: An open source toolbox for analysis of single-trial EEG dynamics including independent component analysis. Journal of Neuroscience Methods, 134(1), 9–21.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Dominy, N. J., & Lucas, P. W. (2001). Ecological importance of trichromatic vision to primates. Nature, 410(6826), 363–366.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Elliot, A. J., & Aarts, H. (2011). Perception of the color red enhances the force and velocity of motor output. Emotion, 11(2), 445–449.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Elliot, A. J., & Maier, M. A. (2007). Color and psychological functioning. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 16(5), 250–254.Google Scholar
  17. Elliot, A. J., & Maier, M. A. (2012). Color-in-context theory. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, 45, 61–125.Google Scholar
  18. Elliot, A. J., & Maier, M. A. (2014). Color psychology: Effects of perceiving color on psychological functioning in humans. Annual Review of Psychology, 65, 95–120.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Elliot, A. J., & Niesta, D. (2008). Romantic red: Red enhances men's attraction to women. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 95(5), 1150–1164.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Elliot, A. J., Maier, M. A., Moller, A. C., Friedman, R., & Meinhardt, J. (2007). Color and psychological functioning: The effect of red on performance attainment. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 136(1), 154–168.Google Scholar
  21. Fetterman, A. K., Liu, T., & Robinson, M. D. (2015). Extending color psychology to the personality realm: Interpersonal hostility varies by red preferences and perceptual biases. Journal of Personality, 83(1), 106–116.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Fraedrich, E. M., Lakatos, K., & Spangler, G. (2010). Brain activity during emotion perception: The role of attachment representation. Attachment & Human Development, 12(3), 231–248.Google Scholar
  23. Fraley, R. C., Niedenthal, P. M., Marks, M., Brumbaugh, C., & Vicary, A. (2006). Adult attachment and the perception of emotional expressions: Probing the hyperactivating strategies underlying anxious attachment. Journal of Personality, 74(4), 1163–1190.Google Scholar
  24. Gil, S., & Le Bigot, L. (2015). Grounding context in face processing: Color, emotion, and gender. Frontiers in Psychology, 6, 322.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  25. Gil, S., & Le Bigot, L. (2016). Colour and emotion: Children also associate red with negative valence. Developmental Science, 19(6), 1087–1094.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. Gillath, O., Bunge, S. A., Shaver, P. R., Wendelken, C., & Mikulincer, M. (2005). Attachment-style differences in the ability to suppress negative thoughts: Exploring the neural correlates. Neuroimage, 28(4), 835–847.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. Glocker, M. L., Langleben, D. D., Ruparel, K., Loughead, J. W., Gur, R. C., & Sachser, N. (2009a). Baby schema in infant faces induces cuteness perception and motivation for caretaking in adults. Ethology, 115(3), 257–263.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  28. Glocker, M. L., Langleben, D. D., Ruparel, K., Loughead, J. W., Valdez, J. N., Griffin, M. D., et al. (2009b). Baby schema affects the beholder: Reward Centre in the brain is activated by looking at cute facial features. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 106(22), 9115–9119.Google Scholar
  29. Gnambs, T., Appel, M., & Batinic, B. (2010). Color red in web-based knowledge testing. Computers in Human Behavior, 26(6), 1625–1631.Google Scholar
  30. Gnambs, T., Appel, M., & Kaspar, K. (2015a). The effect of the color red on encoding and retrieval of declarative knowledge. Learning and Individual Differences, 42, 90–96.Google Scholar
  31. Gnambs, T., Appel, M., & Oeberst, A. (2015b). Red color and risk-taking behavior in online environments. PLoS One, 10(7), e0134033.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  32. Greenlees, I. A., Eynon, M., & Thelwell, R. C. (2013). Color of soccer goalkeepers’ uniforms influences the outcome of penalty kicks. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 117(1), 1–10.Google Scholar
  33. Grossmann, K. E., Grossmann, K., & Waters, E. (Eds.). (2006). Attachment from infancy to adulthood: The major longitudinal studies. Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  34. Hahn, A. C., & Perrett, D. I. (2014). Neural and behavioral responses to attractiveness in adult and infant faces. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 46, 591–603.Google Scholar
  35. Hahn, A. C., Xiao, D., Sprengelmeyer, R., & Perrett, D. I. (2013). Gender differences in the incentive salience of adult and infant faces. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 66(1), 200–208.Google Scholar
  36. Han, S., Jiang, Y., Mao, L., Humphreys, G. W., & Qin, J. (2005). Attentional modulation of perceptual grouping in human visual cortex: ERP studies. Human Brain Mapping, 26(3), 199–209.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  37. Hill, R. A., & Barton, R. A. (2005). Psychology: Red enhances human performance in contests. Nature, 435(7040), 293.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  38. Houtman, F., & Notebaert, W. (2013). Blinded by an error. Cognition, 128(2), 228–236.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  39. Karl, C., Hewig, J., & Osinsky, R. (2016). Passing faces: Sequence-dependent variations in the perceptual processing of emotional faces. Social Neuroscience, 11(5), 531–544.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  40. Khan, S. A., Levine, W. J., Dobson, S. D., & Kralik, J. D. (2011). Red signals dominance in male rhesus macaques. Psychological Science, 22(8), 1001–1003.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  41. Kim, H., Somerville, L. H., Johnstone, T., Polis, S., Alexander, A. L., Shin, L. M., & Whalen, P. J. (2004). Contextual modulation of amygdala responsivity to surprised faces. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 16(10), 1730–1745.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  42. Kloth, N., & Schweinberger, S. R. (2010). Electrophysiological correlates of eye gaze adaptation. Journal of Vision, 10(12), 17–17.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  43. Kuhbandner, C., & Pekrun, R. (2013). Joint effects of emotion and color on memory. Emotion, 13(3), 375–379.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  44. Langlois, J. H., Ritter, J. M., Casey, R. J., & Sawin, D. B. (1995). Infant attractiveness predicts maternal behaviors and attitudes. Developmental Psychology, 31(3), 464–472.Google Scholar
  45. Lenzi, D., Trentini, C., Pantano, P., Macaluso, E., Lenzi, G. L., & Ammaniti, M. (2013). Attachment models affect brain responses in areas related to emotions and empathy in nulliparous women. Human Brain Mapping, 34(6), 1399–1414.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  46. Lenzi, D., Trentini, C., Tambelli, R., & Pantano, P. (2015). Neural basis of attachment-caregiving systems interaction: Insights from neuroimaging studies. Frontiers in Psychology, 6, 1241.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  47. Leyh, R., Heinisch, C., Behringer, J., Reiner, I., & Spangler, G. (2016). Maternal attachment representation and neurophysiological processing during the perception of infants’ emotional expressions. PLoS One, 11(2), e0147294.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  48. Li, T., & Kato, K. (2006). Measuring adult attachment: Chinese adaptation of the ECR scale. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 38(3), 399–406.Google Scholar
  49. Little, A. C., & Hill, R. A. (2007). Attribution to red suggests special role in dominance signalling. Journal of Evolutionary Psychology, 5(1), 161–168.Google Scholar
  50. Lorenz, K. (1943). Die angeborenen formen möglicher erfahrung. Zeitschrift für Tierpsychologie, 5(2), 235–409.Google Scholar
  51. Luck, S. J., Woodman, G. F., & Vogel, E. K. (2000). Event-related potential studies of attention. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 4(11), 432–440.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  52. Luo, W., Feng, W., He, W., Wang, N. Y., & Luo, Y. J. (2010). Three stages of facial expression processing: ERP study with rapid serial visual presentation. Neuroimage, 49(2), 1857–1867.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  53. Ma, Y., Ran, G., Chen, X., Ma, H., & Hu, N. (2017). Adult attachment styles associated with brain activity in response to infant faces in nulliparous women: An event-related potentials study. Frontiers in Psychology, 8, 627.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  54. Martínez, A., Anllo-Vento, L., Sereno, M. I., Frank, L. R., Buxton, R. B., Dubowitz, D. J., Wong, E. C., Hinrichs, H., Heinze, H. J., & Hillyard, S. A. (1999). Involvement of striate and extrastriate visual cortical areas in spatial attention. Nature Neuroscience, 2(4), 364–369.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  55. Mehta, R., & Zhu, R. J. (2009). Blue or red? Exploring the effect of color on cognitive task performances. Science, 323(5918), 1226–1229.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  56. Mikulincer, M., Gillath, O., & Shaver, P. R. (2002). Activation of the attachment system in adulthood: Threat-related primes increase the accessibility of mental representations of attachment figures. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 83(4), 881–895.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  57. Moller, A. C., Elliot, A. J., & Maier, M. A. (2009). Basic hue-meaning associations. Emotion, 9(6), 898–902.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  58. Niedenthal, P. M., Brauer, M., Robin, L., & Innes-Ker, Å. H. (2002). Adult attachment and the perception of facial expression of emotion. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 82(3), 419–433.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  59. Parsons, C. E., Young, K. S., Murray, L., Stein, A., & Kringelbach, M. L. (2010). The functional neuroanatomy of the evolving parent-infant relationship. Progress in Neurobiology, 91, 220–241.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  60. Pazda, A. D., & Elliot, A. J. (2017). Processing the word red can enhance women’s perceptions of men’s attractiveness. Current Psychology, 36(2), 316–323.Google Scholar
  61. Piotrowski, C., & Armstrong, T. (2012). Color red: Implications for applied psychology and marketing research. Psychology and Education-An Interdisciplinary Journal, 49, 55–57.Google Scholar
  62. Posner, M. I., & Dehaene, S. (1994). Attentional networks. Trends in Neurosciences, 17(2), 75–79.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  63. Ran, G., Chen, X., & Pan, Y. (2014). Human sex differences in emotional processing of own-race and other-race faces. Neuroreport, 25(9), 683–687.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  64. Roberts, S. C., Owen, R. C., & Havlicek, J. (2010). Distinguishing between perceiver and wearer effects in clothing color-associated attributions. Evolutionary Psychology, 8(3),  https://doi.org/10.1177/147470491000800304.
  65. Schupp, H. T., Cuthbert, B. N., Bradley, M. M., Cacioppo, J. T., Ito, T., & Lang, P. J. (2000). Affective picture processing: The late positive potential is modulated by motivational relevance. Psychophysiology, 37(2), 257–261.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  66. Setchell, J. M., & Wickings, E. J. (2005). Dominance, status signals and coloration in male mandrills (Mandrillus sphinx). Ethology, 111(1), 25–50.Google Scholar
  67. Shi, J., Zhang, C., & Jiang, F. (2015). Does red undermine individuals’ intellectual performance? A test in China. International Journal of Psychology, 50(1), 81–84.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  68. Sinclair, R. C., Soldat, A. S., & Mark, M. M. (1998). Affective cues and processing strategy: Color-coded examination forms influence performance. Teaching of Psychology, 25(2), 130–132.Google Scholar
  69. Sonnby-Borgström, M., & Jönsson, P. (2004). Dismissing-avoidant pattern of attachment and mimicry reactions at different levels of information processing. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, 45(2), 103–113.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  70. Sprengelmeyer, R., Perrett, D. I., Cornwell, R. E., Lobmaier, J. S., Sprengelmeyer, A., Aasheim, H., et al. (2009). The cutest little baby face: Differences in adults’ sensitivity to cuteness in infant faces. Psychological Science, 20(2), 149–154.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  71. Swain, J. E., Kim, P., & Ho, S. S. (2011). Neuroendocrinology of parental response to baby-cry. Journal of Neuroendocrinology, 23(11), 1036–1041.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  72. Tacikowski, P., & Nowicka, A. (2010). Allocation of attention to self-name and self-face: An ERP study. Biological Psychology, 84(2), 318–324.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  73. Thorstenson, C. A. (2015). Functional equivalence of the color red and enacted avoidance behavior? Replication and empirical integration. Social Psychology, 46(5), 1–6.Google Scholar
  74. Valdez, P., & Mehrabian, A. (1994). Effects of color on emotions. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 123(4), 394–409.Google Scholar
  75. Vrtička, P., Andersson, F., Grandjean, D., Sander, D., & Vuilleumier, P. (2008). Individual attachment style modulates human amygdala and striatum activation during social appraisal. PLoS One, 3(8), e2868.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  76. Wieser, M. J., & Brosch, T. (2012). Faces in context: A review and systematization of contextual influences on affective face processing. Frontiers in Psychology, 3(3), 471.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  77. Wilson, G. D. (1966). Arousal properties of red versus green. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 23, 947–949.Google Scholar
  78. Yoto, A., Katsuura, T., Iwanaga, K., & Shimomura, Y. (2007). Effects of object color stimuli on human brain activities in perception and attention referred to EEG alpha band response. Journal of Physiological Anthropology, 26(3), 373–379.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  79. Young, S. G., Elliot, A. J., Feltman, R., & Ambady, N. (2013). Red enhances the processing of facial expressions of anger. Emotion, 13(3), 380–384.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  80. Zilber, A., Goldstein, A., & Mikulincer, M. (2007). Adult attachment orientations and the processing of emotional pictures–ERP correlates. Personality and Individual Differences, 43(7), 1898–1907.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yuanxiao Ma
    • 1
    • 2
  • Na Hu
    • 3
  • Xing Zhang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Guangzeng Liu
    • 1
  • Xu Chen
    • 1
    • 2
    • 4
  1. 1.Faculty of PsychologySouthwest University (SWU)ChongqingChina
  2. 2.Chongqing Collaborative Innovation Center For Brain ScienceChongqingChina
  3. 3.School of Psychology and Cognitive ScienceEast China Normal UniversityShanghaiChina
  4. 4.Key Laboratory of Cognition and Personality of Ministry of Education, Faculty of PsychologySouthwest UniversityChongqingChina

Personalised recommendations