Attentional Effects of Processing Emotional Faces Using Continuous Flash Suppression
Krellenstein, Nicole J.
Controversy exists concerning whether emotionally valenced information facilitates or inhibits orientation of spatial attention when presented without observers' awareness. Following prior work by Jiang et al., (2006) suggesting that unconsciously presented erotic cues directed spatial attention, we investigated the attentional effects of unconsciously presented emotionally valenced cues. Using a continuous flash suppression (CFS) paradigm, invisible emotional faces were presented as valid or invalid cues to the location of a grating stimulus. In contrast to prediction, reaction time and accuracy to the target stimuli were unaffected by the validity and valence of emotional faces, though some evidence was found for unique processing of fearful faces. These results may suggest that valenced stimuli presented under CFS are unable to influence spatial attention.