A classical theoretical frame to interpret motor reactions to emotional stimuli is that such stimuli, particularly those threat-related, are processed preferentially, i.e., they are capable of capturing and grabbing attention automatically. Research has recently challenged this view, showing that the task relevance of emotional stimuli is crucial to having a reliable behavioral effect. Such evidence indicated that emotional facial expressions do not automatically influence motor responses in healthy young adults, but they do so only when intrinsically pertinent to the ongoing subject's goals. Given the theoretical relevance of these findings, it is essential to assess their generalizability to different, socially relevant emotional stimuli such as emotional body postures. To address this issue, we compared the performance of 36 right-handed participants in two different versions of a Go/No-go task. In the Emotional Discrimination task, participants were required to withhold their responses at the display of emotional body postures (fearful or happy) and to move at the presentation of neutral postures. Differently, in the control task, the same images were shown, but participants had to respond according to the color of the actor/actress' t-shirt, disregarding the emotional content. Results showed that participants made more commission errors (instances in which they moved even though the No-go signal was presented) for happy than fearful body postures in the Emotional Discrimination task. However, this difference disappeared in the control task. Such evidence indicates that, like facial emotion, emotional body expressions do not influence motor control automatically, but only when they are task-relevant.

Emotional body postures affect inhibitory control only when task-relevant / M. Calbi, M. Montalti, C. Pederzani, E. Arcuri, M.A. Umiltà, V. Gallese, G. Mirabella. - In: FRONTIERS IN PSYCHOLOGY. - ISSN 1664-1078. - 13:(2022 Nov 03), pp. 1035328.1-1035328.15. [10.3389/fpsyg.2022.1035328]

Emotional body postures affect inhibitory control only when task-relevant

M. Calbi
Co-primo
;
2022

Abstract

A classical theoretical frame to interpret motor reactions to emotional stimuli is that such stimuli, particularly those threat-related, are processed preferentially, i.e., they are capable of capturing and grabbing attention automatically. Research has recently challenged this view, showing that the task relevance of emotional stimuli is crucial to having a reliable behavioral effect. Such evidence indicated that emotional facial expressions do not automatically influence motor responses in healthy young adults, but they do so only when intrinsically pertinent to the ongoing subject's goals. Given the theoretical relevance of these findings, it is essential to assess their generalizability to different, socially relevant emotional stimuli such as emotional body postures. To address this issue, we compared the performance of 36 right-handed participants in two different versions of a Go/No-go task. In the Emotional Discrimination task, participants were required to withhold their responses at the display of emotional body postures (fearful or happy) and to move at the presentation of neutral postures. Differently, in the control task, the same images were shown, but participants had to respond according to the color of the actor/actress' t-shirt, disregarding the emotional content. Results showed that participants made more commission errors (instances in which they moved even though the No-go signal was presented) for happy than fearful body postures in the Emotional Discrimination task. However, this difference disappeared in the control task. Such evidence indicates that, like facial emotion, emotional body expressions do not influence motor control automatically, but only when they are task-relevant.
Go/No-go task; emotional body language; emotional body postures; inhibitory control; task-relevance
Settore M-PSI/02 - Psicobiologia e Psicologia Fisiologica
Settore M-PSI/01 - Psicologia Generale
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/944953
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