Tags

Type your tag names separated by a space and hit enter

Does Threat Have an Advantage After All? - Proposing a Novel Experimental Design to Investigate the Advantages of Threat-Relevant Cues in Visual Processing.
Front Psychol 2019; 10:2217FP

Abstract

The automatic visual attentional procession of threatening stimuli over non-threatening cues has long been a question. The so-called classical visual search task (VST) has quickly become the go-to paradigm to investigate this. However, the latest results showed that the confounding results could originate from the shortcomings of the VST. Thus, here we propose a novel approach to the behavioral testing of the threat superiority effect. We conducted two experiments using evolutionary relevant and modern real-life scenes (e.g., forest or street, respectively) as a background to improve ecological validity. Participants had to find different targets in different spatial positions (close to fovea or periphery) using a touch-screen monitor. In Experiment 1 participants had to find the two most often used exemplar of the evolutionary and modern threatening categories (snake and gun, respectively), or neutral objects of the same category. In Experiment 2 we used more exemplars of each category. All images used were controlled for possible confounding low-level visual features such as contrast, frequency, brightness, and image complexity. In Experiment 1, threatening targets were found faster compared to neutral cues irrespective of the evolutionary relevance. However, in Experiment 2, we did not find an advantage for threatening targets over neutral ones. In contrast, the type of background, and spatial position of the target only affected the detection of neutral targets. Our results might indicate that some stimuli indeed have an advantage in visual processing, however, they are not highlighted based on evolutionary relevance of negative valence alone, but rather through different associational mechanisms.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Institute of Psychology, University of Pécs, Pécs, Hungary.Department of Behavioural Sciences, University of Pécs Medical School, Pécs, Hungary.Department of Behavioural Sciences, University of Pécs Medical School, Pécs, Hungary.Institute of Psychology, University of Pécs, Pécs, Hungary.Institute of Psychology, University of Pécs, Pécs, Hungary.Institute of Psychology, University of Pécs, Pécs, Hungary.Institute of Psychology, University of Pécs, Pécs, Hungary. Department of Neurology, University of Pécs Medical School, Pécs, Hungary. MTA-PTE Clinical Neuroscience MR Research Group, Pécs, Hungary.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

31611835

Citation

Zsido, Andras N., et al. "Does Threat Have an Advantage After All? - Proposing a Novel Experimental Design to Investigate the Advantages of Threat-Relevant Cues in Visual Processing." Frontiers in Psychology, vol. 10, 2019, p. 2217.
Zsido AN, Csatho A, Matuz A, et al. Does Threat Have an Advantage After All? - Proposing a Novel Experimental Design to Investigate the Advantages of Threat-Relevant Cues in Visual Processing. Front Psychol. 2019;10:2217.
Zsido, A. N., Csatho, A., Matuz, A., Stecina, D., Arato, A., Inhof, O., & Darnai, G. (2019). Does Threat Have an Advantage After All? - Proposing a Novel Experimental Design to Investigate the Advantages of Threat-Relevant Cues in Visual Processing. Frontiers in Psychology, 10, p. 2217. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2019.02217.
Zsido AN, et al. Does Threat Have an Advantage After All? - Proposing a Novel Experimental Design to Investigate the Advantages of Threat-Relevant Cues in Visual Processing. Front Psychol. 2019;10:2217. PubMed PMID: 31611835.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Does Threat Have an Advantage After All? - Proposing a Novel Experimental Design to Investigate the Advantages of Threat-Relevant Cues in Visual Processing. AU - Zsido,Andras N, AU - Csatho,Arpad, AU - Matuz,Andras, AU - Stecina,Diana, AU - Arato,Akos, AU - Inhof,Orsolya, AU - Darnai,Gergely, Y1 - 2019/09/27/ PY - 2019/04/09/received PY - 2019/09/17/accepted PY - 2019/10/16/entrez PY - 2019/10/16/pubmed PY - 2019/10/16/medline KW - attention KW - detection KW - evolutionary relevance KW - fear KW - perception KW - visual search SP - 2217 EP - 2217 JF - Frontiers in psychology JO - Front Psychol VL - 10 N2 - The automatic visual attentional procession of threatening stimuli over non-threatening cues has long been a question. The so-called classical visual search task (VST) has quickly become the go-to paradigm to investigate this. However, the latest results showed that the confounding results could originate from the shortcomings of the VST. Thus, here we propose a novel approach to the behavioral testing of the threat superiority effect. We conducted two experiments using evolutionary relevant and modern real-life scenes (e.g., forest or street, respectively) as a background to improve ecological validity. Participants had to find different targets in different spatial positions (close to fovea or periphery) using a touch-screen monitor. In Experiment 1 participants had to find the two most often used exemplar of the evolutionary and modern threatening categories (snake and gun, respectively), or neutral objects of the same category. In Experiment 2 we used more exemplars of each category. All images used were controlled for possible confounding low-level visual features such as contrast, frequency, brightness, and image complexity. In Experiment 1, threatening targets were found faster compared to neutral cues irrespective of the evolutionary relevance. However, in Experiment 2, we did not find an advantage for threatening targets over neutral ones. In contrast, the type of background, and spatial position of the target only affected the detection of neutral targets. Our results might indicate that some stimuli indeed have an advantage in visual processing, however, they are not highlighted based on evolutionary relevance of negative valence alone, but rather through different associational mechanisms. SN - 1664-1078 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/31611835/Does_Threat_Have_an_Advantage_After_All_-_Proposing_a_Novel_Experimental_Design_to_Investigate_the_Advantages_of_Threat-Relevant_Cues_in_Visual_Processing L2 - https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.02217 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -