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Title: Lateralized discrimination of emotional scenes in peripheral vision
Authors: Calvo, Manuel G.
Rodríguez-Chinea, Sandra
Fernández Martín, Andrés 
UNESCO Clasification: 610604 Análisis experimental de la conducta
Keywords: Emotion
Peripheral vision
Sex differences
Visual scenes
Issue Date: 2014
Journal: Experimental brain research 
Abstract: This study investigates whether there is lateralized processing of emotional scenes in the visual periphery, in the absence of eye fixations; and whether this varies with emotional valence (pleasant vs. unpleasant), specific emotional scene content (babies, erotica, human attack, mutilation, etc.), and sex of the viewer. Pairs of emotional (positive or negative) and neutral photographs were presented for 150 ms peripherally (≥6.5° away from fixation). Observers judged on which side the emotional picture was located. Low-level image properties, scene visual saliency, and eye movements were controlled. Results showed that (a) correct identification of the emotional scene exceeded the chance level; (b) performance was more accurate and faster when the emotional scene appeared in the left than in the right visual field; (c) lateralization was equivalent for females and males for pleasant scenes, but was greater for females and unpleasant scenes; and (d) lateralization occurred similarly for different emotional scene categories. These findings reveal discrimination between emotional and neutral scenes, and right brain hemisphere dominance for emotional processing, which is modulated by sex of the viewer and scene valence, and suggest that coarse affective significance can be extracted in peripheral vision.
ISSN: 0014-4819
DOI: 10.1007/s00221-014-4174-8
Source: Experimental brain research [ISSN 0014-4819], v. 233, p. 997-1006, (2014)
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