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Beyond negativity: motivational relevance as cause of attentional bias to positive stimuli

Vogt, J., Bajandouh, Y. and Alzubaidi, U. (2020) Beyond negativity: motivational relevance as cause of attentional bias to positive stimuli. In: Okon-Singer, H. and Aue, T. (eds.) Processing Biases in Health and Psychiatric Disorders: Neurophysiological Foundations. Elsevier, pp. 1-18. ISBN 9780128166604

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/B978-0-12-816660-4.00001-5


Over the past two decades, various studies have shown that not only negative but also positive information evokes attentional bias. In this chapter, we will discuss theories and evidence investigating when and why positive information attracts attention. Specifically, we will argue that top down factors such as temporary goals can induce but also prevent attention to positive events. This will be followed by a review of main paradigms that have been used to measure attentional bias to positive information. Then, we will highlight the brain regions and psychophysiological responses that are associated with attention to positive input. We will discuss how attention to positive events has been highlighted as characteristic of healthy populations but can also be problematic, for instance, obesity seems to be related to an attentional bias to high-caloric but tasty food. We will finish the chapter by highlighting limitations and suggestions for future research.

Item Type:Book or Report Section
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Department of Psychology
ID Code:83628

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