Effects of Attention on Dynamic Emotional Expressions Processing

  • Liang Zhang
  • Brigitte Roeder
  • Kan Zhang
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 5819)


Attention and emotion both play the crucial roles in human cognitive processing. This study tried to investigate the relationship between attention and emotion, using dynamic facial expressions which are natural and frequently encountered in everyday life. The results showed that the emotional expressions are processed faster than the neutral ones when they are outside the current focus of attention. It indicates that the emotion processing is automatic and not gated by the attention.


Spatial Attention Emotional Stimulus Emotion Valence Neutral Expression Deviant Stimulus 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Eimer, M., Holmes, A., McGlone, F.: The role of spatial attention in the processing of facial expression: An ERP study of rapid brain responses to six basic emotions. Cognitive, Affective, and Behavioral Neurosci. 3, 97–110 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Vuilleumier, P., Armony, J.: Reciprocal links between Emotion and Attention Human. In: Brain Function, 2nd edn., pp. 419–444. Academic Press, San Diego (2003)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Globisch, J., Hamm, A.O., Esteves, F., Ohman, A.: Fear appears fast: temporal course of startle reflex potentiation in animal fearful subjects. Psychophysiology 36, 66–75 (1999)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Holmes, A., Kiss, M., Eimer, M.: Attention modulates the processing of emotional expression triggered by foveal faces. Neurosci. Lett. 394, 48–52 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Vuilleumier, P., Armony, J.L., Driver, J., Dolan, R.J.: Effects of Attention and Emotion on Face Processing in the Human Brain: An Event-Related fMRI Study. Neuron 30, 829–841 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Pessoa, L., McKenna, M., Gutierrz, E., Ungerleider, L.G.: Neural processing of emotional faces requires attention. In: Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, vol. 99, pp. 11458–11463 (2002)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Anderson, A.K., Christoff, K., Panitz, D., De Rosa, E., Gabrieli, J.D.: Neural correlates of the automatic processing of threat facial signals. J. Neurosci. 23, 5627–5633 (2003)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Pessoa, L.: To what extent are emotional visual stimuli processed without attention and awareness? Current Opinion in Neurobiology 15, 188–196 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    de Gelder, B., Bocker, K.B., Tuomainen, J., Hensen, M., Vroomen, J.: The combined perception of emotion fromvoice and face:early interaction revealed by human electric brain responses. Neurosci. Lett. 260, 133–136 (1999)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Kreifelts, B., Ethofer, T., Grodd, W., Erb, M., Wildgruber, D.: Audiovisual integration of emotional signals in voice and face: an event-related fMRI study. Neuroimage 37, 1445–1456 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Collignon, O., Girard, S., Gosselin, F., Roy, S., Saint-Amour, D., Lassonde, M., Lepore, F.: Audio-visual integration of emotion expression. Brain Research 1242, 126–135 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Kilts, C.D., Egan, G., Gideon, D.A., Ely, T.D., Hoffman, J.M.: Dissociable neural pathways are involved in the recognition of emotion in static and dynamic facial expressions. Neuroimage 18, 156–168 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Armony, J.L., Dolan, R.J.: Modulation of spatial attention by fear-conditioned stimuli: an event-related fMRI study. Neuropsychologia 40, 817–826 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Liang Zhang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Brigitte Roeder
    • 3
  • Kan Zhang
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of PsychologyChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.Graduate University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  3. 3.Biological Psychology and NeuropsychologyHamburgGermany

Personalised recommendations