Skip to content
Journal article

Adaptive attunement of selective covert attention to evolutionary-relevant emotional visual scenes

Fernández-Martín A, Gutiérrez-García A, Capafons J, Calvo M ...see all

Consciousness and Cognition, vol. 51 (2017) pp. 223-235 Published by Academic Press Inc.

  • 6

    Readers

    Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
  • 0

    Citations

    Citations of this article.
  • 169

    Views

    ScienceDirect users who have downloaded this article.
Sign in to save reference

Abstract

We investigated selective attention to emotional scenes in peripheral vision, as a function of adaptive relevance of scene affective content for male and female observers. Pairs of emotional-neutral images appeared peripherally—with perceptual stimulus differences controlled—while viewers were fixating on a different stimulus in central vision. Early selective orienting was assessed by the probability of directing the first fixation towards either scene, and the time until first fixation. Emotional scenes selectively captured covert attention even when they were task-irrelevant, thus revealing involuntary, automatic processing. Sex of observers and specific emotional scene content (e.g., male-to-female-aggression, families and babies, etc.) interactively modulated covert attention, depending on adaptive priorities and goals for each sex, both for pleasant and unpleasant content. The attentional system exhibits domain-specific and sex-specific biases and attunements, probably rooted in evolutionary pressures to enhance reproductive and protective success. Emotional cues selectively capture covert attention based on their bio-social significance.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Emotion
  • Eye movements
  • Selective attention
  • Sex differences
  • Visual scenes

Get free article suggestions today

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research

Sign up here
Already have an account ?Sign in

Find this document

Get full text

Authors

Cite this document

Choose a citation style from the tabs below