Electrophysiological analysis of the affective congruence between pattern regularity and word valence

Rampone, Giulia and Makin, Alexis and Bertamini, Marco (2014) Electrophysiological analysis of the affective congruence between pattern regularity and word valence. Neuropsychologia, 58. pp. 107-117. ISSN 0028-3932

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Reflection symmetry is an important property of human designs and biological organisms, and it is often
judged to be beautiful. Previous reaction-time based studies have shown a congruency effect, where
reflection symmetry facilitates processing of positive words, and random patterns facilitate negative
words. But what is the neural basis of affective responses to symmetry? In Experiment 1 we recorded
ERPs from posterior electrode clusters while participants viewed reflection or random patterns with
either a positive or negative word superimposed. In the Discriminate Regularity task, participants
categorized the patterns (reflection or random). In the Discriminate Word task, they categorized the
words as positive or negative. In Experiment 2, participants classified words and patterns on each trial.
We found a difference between ERP waves from congruent (reflection with positive word, random with
negative word) and incongruent trials (reflection with negative, random with positive). This congruency
effect began around 200 ms, and persisted up to 1000 ms post stimulus, and was only present in the
Discriminate Word task. We suggest that when evaluating words, participants automatically evaluate the
background pattern as well, and this alters early visual processing.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information and Comments: “NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Neuropsychologia. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Neuropsychologia, [VOL 58,(2014)] DOI#10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2014.04.005¨
Keywords: Symmetry; Reflection; Random; ERPs; EEG; ANEW database
Faculty / Department: Faculty of Science > Psychology
Depositing User: Giulia Rampone
Date Deposited: 10 Jul 2017 14:03
Last Modified: 10 Jul 2017 14:03
URI: https://hira.hope.ac.uk/id/eprint/1685

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