A1 Journal article (refereed)
Irrelevant task suppresses the N170 of automatic attention allocation to fearful faces (2021)

Dou, H., Liang, L., Ma, J., Lu, J., Zhang, W., & Li, Y. (2021). Irrelevant task suppresses the N170 of automatic attention allocation to fearful faces. Scientific Reports, 11, Article 11754. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-91237-9

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Dou, Haoran; Liang, Limei; Ma, Jie; Lu, Jiachen; Zhang, Wenhai; Li, Yang

Journal or series: Scientific Reports

eISSN: 2045-2322

Publication year: 2021

Publication date: 03/06/2021

Volume: 11

Article number: 11754

Publisher: Nature Publishing Group

Publication country: United Kingdom

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-91237-9

Publication open access: Openly available

Publication channel open access: Open Access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/76314


Recent researches have provided evidence that stimulus-driven attentional bias for threats can be modulated by top-down goals. However, it is highlight essential to indicate whether and to what extent the top-down goals can affect the early stage of attention processing and its early neural mechanism. In this study, we collected electroencephalographic data from 28 healthy volunteers with a modified spatial cueing task. The results revealed that in the irrelevant task, there was no significant difference between the reaction time (RT) of the fearful and neutral faces. In the relevant task, we found that RT of fearful faces was faster than that of neutral faces in the valid cue condition, whereas the RT of fearful faces was slower than that of neutral faces in the invalid cue condition. The N170 component in our study showed a similar result compared with RT. Specifically, we noted that in the relevant task, fearful faces in the cue position of the target evoked a larger N170 amplitude than neutral faces, whereas this effect was suppressed in the irrelevant task. These results suggest that the irrelevant task may inhibit the early attention allocation to the fearful faces. Furthermore, the top-down goals can modulate the early attentional bias for threatening facial expressions.

Keywords: attention; face; facial expressions; emotions; fear (emotions); reactions

Contributing organizations

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2021

JUFO rating: 1

Last updated on 2022-20-09 at 15:04