Emotions in object perception and memory Snehlata Jaswal HUL 211 OBJECT PERCEPTION AND MEMORY Emotions The English word 'emotion' is derived from the Latin root emovere, where e- (variant of ex-) means 'out' and movere means 'move'. The related term "motivation" is also derived from the word movere. Various psychologists have given importance to emotions as they are closely linked to motivation. Others have characterized emotions as ‘intelligence of highest order’. The term emotions denotes three things in psychology: Physiological arousal Expressive behaviours Conscious experience - All are ‘reactions’ to perceptions HUL 211 OBJECT PERCEPTION AND MEMORY James Lange theory The James-Lange theory is one of the earliest theories of emotions, developed independently by two scholars, William James and Carl Lange. The theory proposed that in response to percepts, there are immediate visceral (physiological) changes in the body. These changes are then experienced consciously as emotions. Emotions are feelings which result from these physiological changes. E.g., We see a bear, we run, therefore we feel afraid. Criticisms 1. The viscera are largely unresponsive and react relatively slowly (i.e. - we 'feel' the emotion before the physiological changes have occurred.) 2. Visceral responses are the same no matter what the reported emotion. 3. Injecting adrenaline/ epinephrine (as released from the adrenal glands during "normal" emotional state) does not induce the feeling of separate emotions, except for inducing a heightened state of arousal. 4. Cutting nerves from the viscera to the brain had no effect on emotions in cats. Cannon Bard theory The Cannon-Bard theory, also known as the thalamic theory of emotions, was developed by physiologists Walter Cannon and Philip Bard. They suggested that information about external events (percepts) first goes to the hypothalamus which acts as a relay centre sending further signals to the higher centres in the brain (the cortex) as well as to the viscera. This meant that individuals experience emotions and react physiologically simultaneously. In fact since the cortex is nearer than the viscera, the conscious experience of emotion occurs a split second earlier than the physiological arousal. This theory challenged the James Lange theory which suggested that bodily changes were the cause of emotions. Criticism: The major criticism of this theory was that it proposed that bodily arousal and cognitive experience of emotions were separate, and had little to do with each other. Two factor theory of emotions The two-factor theory of emotion, or Schacter-Singer theory, suggested that emotions have two components which interact together: physiological arousal and cognition (a conscious understanding of that arousal). According to the theory, "cognitions are used to interpret the meaning of physiological reactions to outside events.“ HUL 211 OBJECT PERCEPTION AND MEMORY Schacter and Singer (1962) Schacter and Singer (1962) injected either adrenaline or a saline solution (placebo) to 184 college students . All experimental participants were told that they were given an injection of a new drug called Superoxin to test their eyesight. The adrenaline injection caused a number of effects including increased heart rate, rapid breathing, and increased blood flow to the muscles and brain. The saline injection had no such effects. Subjects' emotional states were inferred from both observations of the subjects and the S's responses on a self-rating of emotion scale. Subjects who had received the adrenaline injection were more emotional by both measures, showing that the first factor in emotion was indeed ‘intensity of arousal’. Schacter and Singer (1962) …contd. Then, participants who received the adrenaline were divided into three groups – one group was told about the expected effects of the adrenaline; a second group was told that it would produce a dull headache and numbness, and a third group was told nothing at all. After the injections, the subjects waited in a room with another person who was actually a confederate of the experimenter. The confederate behaved one of two ways: playful (euphoric) or angry. Participants who were misled or naive about the injection's effects behaved like the confederate, while those who were informed of the expected effects of the adrenaline showed no emotional pattern. This suggests that informed participants correctly attributed their arousal, while the naive or misinformed groups interpreted the arousal according to the emotion experienced by the confederate. Thus "cognitive attribution," is the second factor in the Two-factor theory. Dutton and Aron (1974) Dutton and Aron (1974) used a natural setting to test the Two Factor Theory of Emotions. In their study, an attractive female experimenter asked male passers-by to complete a brief survey. She intercepted potential participants either at the end of a bridge (lesser arousal) or on the bridge itself (more arousal). The footbridge used was a narrow bridge that spans a deep ravine. Following the survey interview, the experimenter gave the participants her telephone number in case they had further questions. The dependent variable in this experiment was the number and kind of telephone calls received from the participants after the experiment. Men who were met in the middle of the bridge were more aroused, but also presumably more likely to interpret their feelings as being 'lovestruck'. Consequently they called back the interviewer more often, looking for a date, than those who were met at the end of the bridge. Facial feedback hypothesis The facial feedback hypothesis states that facial movement can influence the kind of emotion experienced. (Comeback for James Lange theory in an attenuated form?) Examples: – An individual who is forced to smile during a social event will actually come to find the event more of an enjoyable experience – Laughing clubs – Suppress an emotional expression, and the emotion vanishes – Actors often develop the ‘mood’ they portray HUL 211 OBJECT PERCEPTION AND MEMORY Supportive studies with botox In a study of cognitive processing of emotional content, Havas, Glenberg, Gutowski, Lucarelli, & Davidson (2010) asked participants to read emotional (angry, sad, happy) sentences before and two weeks after botox injections in the muscles used in frowning. Reading times for angry and sad sentences were longer after botox injections than before injection, while reading times for happy sentences were unchanged. This finding shows that facial muscle paralysis has a selective effect on processing of emotional content. Intriguingly, it also demonstrates that cosmetic use of botox might affect some aspects of human cognition HUL 211 OBJECT PERCEPTION AND MEMORY Affective predictions All previous theories assume that emotions occur after object perception and in reaction to it. First, a red, round, hard object is perceived as an apple, and only then is the object related to the past experiences of enjoying the crunchy sweetness of the first bite, or to a breezy trip to the apple farm for picking apples with friends. Barett and Bar (2009), however, contend that prior affective reactions to apples might actually help the brain to predict that visual sensations refer to an apple in the first place. Predictions generated during object perception carry affective value as a necessary and normal part of visual experience. This proposal is on the basis of studies of the OFC (Orbito frontal cortex). HUL 211 OBJECT PERCEPTION AND MEMORY Orbito-frontal cortex The OFC is a heteromodal association area that integrates sensory input from the world and the body (i.e. from extra- and intrapersonal space) to create a contextually sensitive, multimodal representation of the world and its value to the person at a particular moment in time. It plays a role in representing reward and threat, as well as emotional experience, and it also plays a role in processing olfactory, auditory and visual information. The OFC’s ongoing integration of sensory information from the external world with that from the body indicates that conscious percepts are indeed intrinsically infused with affective value, so that the affective salience or significance of an object is not computed after the fact. The OFC plays a crucial role in forming the predictions that support object perception. Pavlova, Sokolov, & Sokolov (2005) Which is happier - 1 or 2? Pavlova, Sokolov, & Sokolov (2005) Which is suffering more - 1 or 2? Even the perception of such simple shapes is linked to affective quality, and irregularities are linked to negative affect. Effect of mood on lexical decision Niedenthal & Setterlund (1994) did two experiments, in which subjects were induced to feel happy or sad and then performed a lexical decision task (they had to recognize words from a mixed list of words and non words). In both experiments, emotions facilitated lexical decision about words specifically related to subjects' emotional states HUL 211 OBJECT PERCEPTION AND MEMORY Desired objects are seen as closer Balcetis and Dunning (2010) did five experiments which demonstrated that perceivers tend to see desirable objects (i.e., those that can fulfill immediate goals—a water bottle to assuage their thirst, money they can win, a personality test providing favorable feedback) as physically closer to them than less desirable objects. Biased distance perception was revealed through verbal reports and through actions toward the object (e.g., under-throwing a beanbag at a desirable object). Seeing desirable objects as closer than less desirable objects serves the self-regulatory function of energizing the perceiver to approach objects that fulfill needs and goals. Effect on field of vision Schmitz et al. (2009) hypothesized that positive emotional states would broaden the field of view, whereas negative states would have the opposite effect. 14 participants were tested in with fMRI whilst they looked at various images. The participants were shown photographs of faces expressing positive, negative or neutral emotions. Each was presented for 2 seconds, and followed by a composite image consisting of a face at the centre surrounded by photographs of houses or places. The first image of each pair served to induce a specific mood; participants were asked to report the emotion induced by each face, and also to judge the sex of the faces in the composite images, so that they focused their attention at the centre rather than the periphery. Previous studies show that the fusiform face area (FFA) processes faces and the parahippocampal place area processes novel places. In this study the positive mood induced by the photographs of faces was positively correlated with increased processing of the novel places depicted in the composite images, as revealed by increased activity in the left PPA. By contrast, negative moods had the opposite effect – they were associated with reduced PPA activity. Schmitz and his colleagues also compared FFA activity in the positive and negative mood induction trials, but found no difference. The enhanced peripheral vision following positive mood induction does not, therefore, occur as a result of a trade-off with central vision. Effect of music on face perception Logeswaran and Bhattacharya (2009) used 30 participants who were presented a series of happy or sad musical excerpts, each lasting 15 seconds. After each piece of music, the participants were shown a photograph of a face, expressing either a happy, sad, or neutral expression for 1 second each. Then the participants were asked to rate the emotion on a 7-point scale, where 1 denoted extremely sad and 7 extremely happy. Thus, the photos of faces were "primed" by an emotional state conveyed by a piece of music. All the participants correctly identified the emotions expressed by the faces. However, happy faces primed by a happy piece of music were rated as happier than when primed by sad music. Conversely, sad faces primed by a piece of sad music were rated as sadder than those primed with a happy piece of music. Finally, neutral faces were rated higher when primed by a happy piece of music and lower when primed by a sad piece. The size of the priming effect for neutral faces was found to be almost twice that of the effect for happy and sad faces, probably because neutral faces contain less information than those expressing one emotion or the other, and hence are somewhat ambiguous. In the absence of relevent visual information, it may therefore become more reliant on information from other senses when generating these representations. A second experiment with EEGs confirmed these results. Mere ownership effect Beggan (1992) investigated whether subjects would evaluate an object more favorably merely because they owned it. Study 1 confirmed the existence of this mere ownership effect. Subjects initially rated some objects in desirability. An object rated average ( a cold drink insulator) was chosen as the key object of the study. It was gifted to one group of subjects. A second group received no gift, and a third group received another object (a key holder). All groups then rated the attractiveness of various objects including the insulator. It was found that only the group who had received it as a gift increased the ratings given to the insulator. Study 2 showed that the effect was not due to subjects having greater exposure to an owned object relative to an unowned object. Study 3 showed that the ‘mere ownership effect’ was enhanced after the subjects felt that they had performed poorly, than when they were given positive feedback on their performance on an unrelated perceptual judgement task. This suggests that the effect may be one aspect of a general desire of people to make self-enhancing judgments. Thank you HUL 211 OBJECT PERCEPTION AND MEMORY
"HUL 211 Emotions in object perception and memory"