Influence of the current context created by the perception of emotional facial expressions on the target presentation of neutral visual images

M. Chernykh, I. Zyma
ESC "Institute of Biology and Medicine", Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Kyiv; ESC "Institute of Biology and Medicine", Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Kyiv


Study the influence of the current context, created by the perception of emotional facial expressions, on targeted presentation of neutral visual images. 30 volunteer students participated in the experiment. Two series of images were demonstrated and event-related potentials were registered. The epoch of analysis before the stimulus was 150 ms, after the stimulus – 800 ms. Rare stimuli (neutral in valence) were demonstrated in an arbitrary pattern, in which the probability of a rare stimulus was set at 30 %, the duration of the stimulus was 500 ms. The processing of the data was carried out using the Eeglab software package. Sites with statistically significant differences in amplitude characteristics were those for which p <0.05 (with the FDR criterion). The changes in the amplitude characteristics of such components of the ERP curve as N200, component P300 (and its subcomponent P3A and P3b), waves of late positive potential (LPP) and late back negativity (LPN) were studied. A comparative analysis of the medium- and long-latent components of the ERP curve revealed a more significant effect of the context created by negative emotional stimuli. Based on an analysis of the results obtained, as well as literature data, it can be concluded that a positive emotional context causes greater difficulties in detecting differences between target and contextual stimuli and in restoring the stimulus image in memory. That is, the perception of neutral faces in this context is more holistic, according to the bottom-up scenario. At the same time, it is possible to assume that neutral facial expressions in the negative context are processed according to the top-down mechanism. Moreover, in this case, the relationship between the characteristics of the stimulus, attention and memory is strengthened, the efficiency of incoming information processing and mental images creation is increased.


emotions, EEG, ERP, face

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Received: 10.04.2018

Revised: 11.05.2018

Signed for publication: 11.05.2018



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