By Susan T. Fiske

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Extra info for Annual Review of Psychology Vol 57, 2006

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2003), it appears to play a critical role in perceiving fear. tex XMLPublishSM (2004/02/24) P1: OKZ Annu. Rev. Psychol. 57:27-53. org by Ball State University on 01/04/09. For personal use only. EMOTION AND COGNITION 41 the intensity of fear in facial expressions (Adolphs et al. 1999). These patients are able to generate normal facial expressions of fear (Anderson & Phelps 2000), but consistently rate expressions of fear in others as less fearful than do normal control subjects. As mentioned earlier, brain-imaging studies show a preferential response to expressions of fear (Breiter et al.

Every 100 msec), so quickly it is difficult for subjects to identify any individual stimulus. However, if subjects are told that they can ignore most of the stimuli presented and selectively attend to a few target exemplars, such as those printed in a different color ink, subjects are able to selectively process the target stimuli and later identify them. This ability to selectively attend to specific stimuli in a rapidly presented visual stream is limited by the temporal relation between the different target stimuli.

For personal use only. The studies examining emotion’s facilitation or capture of attention have primarily used negative, fearful, or threatening stimuli. For some paradigms, it appears arousal is the key component for the facilitation of attention (Anderson 2005), and for others the effects appear to be specific for negative or threatening stimuli (Ohman et al. 2001). Discussions of the adaptive function of emotion’s facilitation of attention emphasize the preferential detection of stimuli that signal potential importance or threat (Whalen 1998) and suggest a primary role for the amygdala is the modulation of vigilance in the presence of these stimuli.

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