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Eye spy with my little eye: motivational relevance of visual stimuli guide eye-movements at different processing stages

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McSorley, E., Morriss, J. and Van Reekum, C. (2017) Eye spy with my little eye: motivational relevance of visual stimuli guide eye-movements at different processing stages. Biological Psychology, 123. pp. 8-14. ISSN 0301-0511

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsycho.2016.11.008

Abstract/Summary

Visual stimuli may be selected for priority at different stages within the processing stream, depending on how motivationally relevant they are to the perceiver. Here we examine the extent to which individual differences in motivational relevance of task-irrelevant images (spider, crash, baby, food and neutral) guide eye-movements to a simple “follow the cross” task in 96 participants. We found affective images vs. neutral images to be generally more distracting, as shown by faster first saccade latencies and greater deviation in the final landing position from the target cross. The most arousing images (spider and food), compared to neutral images, showed the largest trajectory deviations of the first saccade. Fear of spiders specifically predicted greater deviation in the final landing position on spider images. These results suggest that attentional biases towards arousing and motivationally relevant stimuli may occur at different processing stages.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Centre for Integrative Neuroscience and Neurodynamics (CINN)
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Department of Psychology
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Psychopathology and Affective Neuroscience
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Perception and Action
ID Code:68214
Publisher:Elsevier

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