The role of fear-relevant stimuli in visual search: a comparison of phylogenetic and ontogenetic stimuli.

@article{Brosch2005TheRO,
  title={The role of fear-relevant stimuli in visual search: a comparison of phylogenetic and ontogenetic stimuli.},
  author={Tobias Brosch and Dinkar Sharma},
  journal={Emotion},
  year={2005},
  volume={5 3},
  pages={
          360-4
        }
}
It has been argued that phylogenetic fear-relevant stimuli elicit preattentive capture of attention. To distinguish between fear relevance and time of appearance in evolutionary history, the authors compare phylogenetic and ontogenetic fear-relevant and fear-irrelevant stimuli in a visual search task. The authors found no evidence for a special role of phylogenetic fear-relevant stimuli; it seems that fear relevance in general is more important than is the evolutionary age. The pattern of… 

Tables from this paper

The detection of fear-relevant stimuli: are guns noticed as quickly as snakes?
TLDR
A visual search task was used to test the hypothesis that an evolved fear module is preferentially activated by stimuli that are fear relevant in a phylogenetic sense, and showed that both guns and snakes attracted attention more effectively than neutral stimuli.
Beyond Fear
TLDR
Topographic segmentation analysis and source localization indicate that the same amplification process is involved whether attention orienting is triggered by negative, fear-relevant stimuli or positive, nurturance- relevant stimuli, confirming that biological relevance, and not exclusively fear, produces an automatic spatial orienting toward the location of a stimulus.
Are snakes and spiders special? Acquisition of negative valence and modified attentional processing by non-fear-relevant animal stimuli
Previous research has demonstrated differences in processing between fear-relevant stimuli, such as snakes and spiders, and non-fear-relevant stimuli. The current research examined whether
Attentional modulation of visual-evoked potentials by threat: Investigating the effect of evolutionary relevance
TLDR
Both evolutionary relevant and evolutionary irrelevant threats led to increased P1 amplitude, although the effect was stronger for modern threats and largely independent of the type of threatening stimulus.
Relevance is in the eye of the beholder: attentional bias to relevant stimuli in children.
TLDR
Results suggest that attentional biases are not specific to threat, but seem to apply to all relevant stimuli, both positive and negative in valence, providing first evidence for the stimulus relevance theory of preferential attention in children.
Effects of ancient and modern, avoidant and approach stimuli on visual search task reaction times
Effects of Ancient and Modern, Avoidant and Approach Stimuli on Visual Search Task Reaction Times The threat superiority effect refers to faster and more accurate detection of fearful stimuli. This
When danger lurks in the background: attentional capture by animal fear-relevant distractors is specific and selectively enhanced by animal fear.
TLDR
Results indicate preferential attentional capture that is specific to phylogenetically fear-relevant stimuli and is selectively enhanced in individuals who fear these animals.
The visual detection of threat: A cautionary tale
  • P. Quinlan
  • Psychology, Medicine
    Psychonomic bulletin & review
  • 2013
TLDR
It is concluded that the fear response hypothesis has no convincing empirical support, and it is urged that, in the future, researchers who wish to study visual threat detection take stimulus selection much more seriously.
An emotional learning paradigm to investigate relevance detection
A critical finding supporting the fear module theory (Ohman & Mineka, 2001) is the result according to which, during fear conditioning, resistance to extinction of enhanced SCRs is found towards
Irrelevant task suppresses the N170 of automatic attention allocation to fearful faces
TLDR
Electroencephalographic data from 28 healthy volunteers with a modified spatial cueing task revealed that in the irrelevant task, there was no significant difference between the reaction time (RT) of the fearful and neutral faces, and suggested that the relevant task may inhibit the early attention allocation to the fearful faces.
...
1
2
3
4
5
...

References

SHOWING 1-10 OF 26 REFERENCES
Emotion drives attention: detecting the snake in the grass.
TLDR
Fear-relevant, but not fear-irrelevant, search was unaffected by the location of the target in the display and by the number of distractors, which suggests parallel search for fear-relevant targets and serial search for feared objects.
On the automatic nature of phobic fear: conditioned electrodermal responses to masked fear-relevant stimuli.
TLDR
In support of a hypothesis that suggests that nonconscious information-processing mechanisms are sufficient to activate responses to fear-relevant stimuli, differential skin conductance response to masked conditioning and control stimuli was obvious only for subjects conditioned toFear- relevant stimuli.
Fears, phobias, and preparedness: toward an evolved module of fear and fear learning.
TLDR
The fear module is assumed to mediate an emotional level of fear learning that is relatively independent and dissociable from cognitive learning of stimulus relationships.
Preparedness and electrodermal fear-conditioning: ontogenetic vs phylogenetic explanations.
TLDR
Two questions that have been discussed in the preparedness-literature are the quality of the unconditioned stimulus (UCS) and the effect of pointing a gun directly towards the S vs pointing it to the side, and both slides of guns and snakes were used as conditioned stimuli (CSs) in the present study.
Attentional control of the processing of neural and emotional stimuli.
TLDR
Testing the alternative possibility, namely, that the neural processing of stimuli with emotional content is not automatic and instead requires some degree of attention, revealed that all brain regions responding differentially to emotional faces did so only when sufficient attentional resources were available to process the faces.
The face in the crowd revisited: a threat advantage with schematic stimuli.
TLDR
Threatening angry faces were more quickly and accurately detected than were other negative faces (sad or "scheming"), which suggests that the threat advantage can be attributed to threat rather than to the negative valence or the uniqueness of the target display.
Fear and anxiety: animal models and human cognitive psychophysiology.
TLDR
This paper focuses on special, attentional features of emotional processing: The automaticity of fear reactions, hyper-reactivity to minimal threat-cues, and evidence that the physiological responses in fear may be independent of slower, language-based appraisal processes.
Searching for threat
TLDR
The visual search paradigm does not readily reveal any biases that might exist for threatening stimuli in the general population, as detection and search rate advantages were found for pleasant rather than threatening animals compared to plants.
One-trial learning and superior resistance to extinction of autonomic responses conditioned to potentially phobic stimuli.
Human subjects were exposed to pictures of potentially phobic (snakes) and supposedly neutral (houses) objects as conditioned stimuli (CSs) in a Pavlovian conditioning experiment with shock as
A subcortical pathway to the right amygdala mediating "unseen" fear.
  • J. Morris, A. Ohman, R. Dolan
  • Psychology, Medicine
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
  • 1999
TLDR
A subcortical pathway to the right amygdala, via midbrain and thalamus, provides a route for processing behaviorally relevant unseen visual events in parallel to a cortical route necessary for conscious identification.
...
1
2
3
...