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The Emotional Content of Faces Interferes with Inhibitory Processing: An Event Related Potential Study

Author(s): Julieta Ramos-Loyo | Andrés A. González-Garrido | Gregorio García-Aguilar | Yolanda Del Río-Portilla

Journal: International Journal of Psychological Studies
ISSN 1918-7211

Volume: 5;
Issue: 2;
Date: 2013;
Original page

Emotional stimuli interfere with other kinds of stimuli processing because they capture attentional resources inaccordance with their adaptive importance. This suggests that it would be more difficult to inhibit emotionalfaces than neutral ones or objects. The present study evaluates the effects of facial emotional expressions oninhibitory processing using event-related brain potentials in a Go/NoGo paradigm. Event-related potentials wereobtained in healthy subjects during emotional inhibition tasks involving anger and happiness, compared tonon-emotional tasks based on simple objects and gender. Emotional tasks exhibited poorer performance thannon-emotional ones. P3 latencies were longer during response inhibition to emotional faces than those obtainedwhile inhibiting non-emotional stimuli. This study provides evidence that facial emotional content interfereswith response inhibition since it may elicit additional neural resource demands.
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