Apr 25, 2020

Dissociable Effects of Emotional Stimuli on Perception and Decision-Making for Time

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
K. A. GladhillMartin Wiener


Previous research has demonstrated that negative emotional faces dilate time perception, however, the mechanisms underlying this phenomenon are not fully understood. Previous attempts focus on the pacemaker-accumulator model of time perception, which includes a clock, memory, and decision-making stage, wherein emotion affects one of these stages; possibly by increasing pacemaker rate via arousal, increasing accumulation rate via attention, or by biasing decision-making. To further investigate the stage(s) that emotion is affecting time perception we conducted a visual temporal bisection task with sub-second intervals while recording 64-channel electroencephalogram (EEG). To separate the influence of face and timing responses the temporal stimulus was preceded and followed by a face stimulus displaying a neutral or negative expression creating three trial-types: Neg[->]Neut, Neut[->]Neg, or Neut[->]Neut. The data revealed a leftward shift in bisection point (BP) in Neg[->]Neut and Neut[->]Neg suggesting an overestimation of time. Neurally, we found the face-responsive N170 component was larger for negative faces and the N1 and contingent negative variation (CNV) were larger when preceded by a negative face. We als...Continue Reading

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