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Int J Psychophysiol. 2012 Jul;85(1):79-87. doi: 10.1016/j.ijpsycho.2011.06.004. Epub 2011 Jul 5.

Affective processing of loved familiar faces: integrating central and peripheral electrophysiological measures.

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  • 1University of Granada, Spain.


A major problem in the electrophysiological studies of emotional processing linked to recognition of familiar faces is the unambiguous differentiation of effects due to emotional valence, arousal, and familiarity. The present paper summarizes a set of three studies aimed at investigating the affective processing of loved familiar faces using Lang's picture-viewing paradigm, with a special emphasis on teasing apart the individual contributions of affective valence, undifferentiated emotional arousal, and familiarity The results of the three studies support the conclusion that viewing the faces of familiar loved ones elicits an intense positive emotional reaction that cannot be explained either by familiarity or arousal alone.

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