The observable R and the unobservable r: Brain and rating responses in an integration task with pairs of emotional faces

  • Telmo Pereira
  • Armando Oliveira
  • Isabel B. Fonseca

Abstract

Participants in this study judged on a graphic rating scale the joint affective intensity conveyed by two emotional faces selectively presented to a single brain hemisphere via a Divided Visual Field technique (DVF). While they did that, EEG was recorded from 6 scalp locations. The emotions considered were joy, fear and anger, varied along three levels of intensity, and each pair of faces might express the same or two distinct emotions. The patterns of integration of the two sources of information were examined both at the level of the ratings and of the brain response (event-related-α-desynchronization:ERD) at each EEG lead. Additive and equal-weighting averaging rules were found, respectively, for the ratings of same-emotion and different-emotion pairs. Additive integration was the predominant finding for α-ERD. Outcomes are discussed with a link to the lateralization of emotional processing and the possible relations between the observable R (ratings) and the implicit neural r.

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