In the present study, we demonstrated that the emotional significance of a spatial cue enhances the effect of covert attention on spatial and temporal resolution (i. e., our ability to discriminate small spatial details and fast temporal flicker). Our results indicated that fearful face cues, as compared with neutral face cues, enhanced the attentional benefits in spatial resolution but also enhanced the attentional deficits in temporal resolution. Furthermore, we observed that the overall magnitudes of individuals' attentional effects correlated strongly with the magnitude of the emotion × attention interaction effect. Combined, these findings provide strong support for the idea that emotion enhances the strength of a cue's attentional response.

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Psychonomic Bulletin and Review
Department of Psychology

Bocanegra, B., & Zeelenberg, R. (2011). Emotional cues enhance the attentional effects on spatial and temporal resolution. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 18(6), 1071–1076. doi:10.3758/s13423-011-0156-z