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Emotion. 2010 Jun;10(3):441-6. doi: 10.1037/a0018425.

Late positive potential to appetitive stimuli and local attentional bias.

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Department of Psychology, Texas A&M University, 4235 TAMU, College Station, TX 77843, USA.


Predicated on the idea that positive affects high in approach motivation are crucial in goal-directed behaviors, research has found that these positive affects cause narrowed attention. The present research was designed to investigate a possible neurophysiological underpinning of this effect. Previous research has suggested that the late positive potential (LPP) of the event-related brain potential is increased by emotionally arousing stimuli because of the attention-grabbing nature of such stimuli. Other research has suggested that left prefrontal cortical regions are associated with narrowed attention and approach-motivated affect. Integrating these two lines of evidence, the present research examined LPPs to appetitive versus neutral pictures and assessed the relationship of these LPPs to local versus global attentional bias following the picture primes. Results revealed that appetitive in comparison with neutral pictures evoked larger LPP amplitudes bilaterally over central and parietal regions and asymmetrically over frontal regions. Moreover, these LPP amplitudes to appetitive pictures predicted greater locally biased attention caused by the appetitive pictures. These results provide the first evidence that LPPs are associated with the local attentional bias induced by appetitive motivation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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