Visual emotional context modulates brain potentials elicited by unattended tones.Int J Psychophysiol. 2007 Oct; 66(1):1-9.IJ
To examine whether brain electrical responses to environmental stimuli were influenced by emotional contexts, event-related potentials (ERPs) elicited by nonstartle probe tones were recorded from 13 student volunteers while they were viewing emotionally positive, neutral, and negative slides of the International Affective Picture System. The auditory stimuli consisted of high-deviant (2000 Hz, p=.08), low-deviant (1050 Hz, p=.08), and standard (1000 Hz, p=.84) tones with a mean onset-to-onset interval of 600 ms. Participants were told to ignore the tones. High-deviant tones elicited a larger N1 (peaking around 100 ms) when participants were viewing negative slides than when viewing positive slides. The amplitude of the P2 elicited by standard tones (peaking around 170 ms) was smaller when participants were viewing positive slides than when viewing negative and neutral slides. The amplitude of the mismatch negativity (150-200 ms) tended to reduce during positive slide presentation, but this difference appeared to be due to reduction of the P2 elicited by standard tones. These findings suggest that visually induced emotional states have a sequential effect on auditory information processing, in that the influence of negative emotion appears at an earlier stage than that of positive emotion.