Exploring the Neural Basis of Emotional Induced Blindness Using Event-Related Brain Potentials

Boettcher, Sage
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
University of Delaware
Emotional induced blindness (EIB) has been demonstrated when a target follows an emotional stimulus in a rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) stream and the subject fails to identify the target. This paradigm has been compared to the Attentional Blink (AB), a similar event in which a relevant target replaces the emotional stimuli. However, the neural mechanisms behind these two phenomena have yet to be compared. In an effort to do so we used a traditional EIB experiment but we also controlled for the physical difference of emotional stimuli with neutral counterparts. The behavioral results confirmed the role of emotion in the blink and showed that subjects were significantly worse at identifying targets in the wake of a negatively arousing image [F (3, 52) = 32.040, p < .0001]. Using event related brain potentials we found surprising differences between EIB and AB as well as evidence against the current accepted theories of AB.
emotional induced blindness , event-related potentials , attentional blink