Affect, attention, or anticipatory arousal? Human blink startle modulation in forward and backward affective conditioning

Mallan, Kimberley M., Lipp, Ottmar , & Libera, Marilia (2008) Affect, attention, or anticipatory arousal? Human blink startle modulation in forward and backward affective conditioning. International Journal of Psychophysiology, 69(1), pp. 9-17.

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Abstract

Affect modulates the blink startle reflex in the picture-viewing paradigm, however, the process responsible for reflex modulation during conditional stimuli (CSs) that have acquired valence through affective conditioning remains unclear. In Experiment 1, neutral shapes (CSs) and valenced or neutral pictures (USs) were paired in a forward (CS → US) manner. Pleasantness ratings supported affective learning of positive and negative valence. Post-acquisition, blink reflexes were larger during the pleasant and unpleasant CSs than during the neutral CS. Rather than affect, attention or anticipatory arousal were suggested as sources of startle modulation. Experiment 2 confirmed that affective learning in the picture–picture paradigm was not affected by whether the CS preceded the US. Pleasantness ratings and affective priming revealed similar extents of affective learning following forward, backward or simultaneous pairings of CSs and USs. Experiment 3 utilized a backward conditioning procedure (US → CS) to minimize effects of US anticipation. Again, blink reflexes were larger during CSs paired with valenced USs regardless of US valence implicating attention rather than anticipatory arousal or affect as the process modulating startle in this paradigm.

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9 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 46746
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: emotion, affective learning, evaluative conditioning, eyeblink startle
DOI: 10.1016/j.ijpsycho.2008.02.005
ISSN: 1872-7697
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100) > Biological Psychology (Neuropsychology Psychopharmacology Physiological Psychology) (170101)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Exercise & Nutrition Sciences
Deposited On: 01 Feb 2013 00:58
Last Modified: 25 Aug 2015 22:35

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