"Natural" crossmodal correspondences, such as the spontaneous tendency to associate high pitches with high spatial locations, are often hypothesized to occur preattentively and independently of task instructions (top-down attention). Here, we investigate bottom-up attentional engagement by using emotional scenes that are known to naturally and reflexively engage attentional resources. We presented emotional (pleasant and unpleasant) or neutral pictures either below or above a fixation cross, while participants were required to discriminate between a high or a low pitch tone (experiment 1). Results showed that despite a robust crossmodal attentional capture of task-irrelevant emotional pictures, the general advantage in classifying the tones for congruent over incongruent visual-auditory stimuli was similar for emotional and neutral pictures. On the other hand, when picture position was task-relevant (experiment 2), task-irrelevant tones did not interact with pictures with regard to their combination of pitch and visual vertical spatial position, but instead they were effective in minimizing the interference effect of emotional picture processing on the ongoing task. These results provide constraints on our current understanding of natural crossmodal correspondences. © 2014 Ferrari et al.

Crossmodal interactions during affective picture processing / Ferrari, Vera; Mastria, Serena; Bruno, Nicola. - In: PLOS ONE. - ISSN 1932-6203. - 9:2(2014), p. e89858. [10.1371/journal.pone.0089858]

Crossmodal interactions during affective picture processing

FERRARI, VERA;BRUNO, Nicola
2014

Abstract

"Natural" crossmodal correspondences, such as the spontaneous tendency to associate high pitches with high spatial locations, are often hypothesized to occur preattentively and independently of task instructions (top-down attention). Here, we investigate bottom-up attentional engagement by using emotional scenes that are known to naturally and reflexively engage attentional resources. We presented emotional (pleasant and unpleasant) or neutral pictures either below or above a fixation cross, while participants were required to discriminate between a high or a low pitch tone (experiment 1). Results showed that despite a robust crossmodal attentional capture of task-irrelevant emotional pictures, the general advantage in classifying the tones for congruent over incongruent visual-auditory stimuli was similar for emotional and neutral pictures. On the other hand, when picture position was task-relevant (experiment 2), task-irrelevant tones did not interact with pictures with regard to their combination of pitch and visual vertical spatial position, but instead they were effective in minimizing the interference effect of emotional picture processing on the ongoing task. These results provide constraints on our current understanding of natural crossmodal correspondences. © 2014 Ferrari et al.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11381/2827187
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