Graduation Year

2008

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

M.A.

Degree Granting Department

Psychology

Major Professor

Thomas Sanocki, Ph.D.

Keywords

Visual development, Affective stimuli, Attention, Emotion, Reinforcement

Abstract

This study aimed to determine whether the rate of perceptual learning in a vernier discrimination task could be influenced by affective images. Forty-eight (30 Female, 18 Male) subjects were instructed to indicate the direction of an offset over 620 trials. Subjects were primed with either negative, positive or neutral photographs before making the discrimination on all test trials. Feedback regarding offset performance was provided on each trial. Despite initial pilot data indicating that subjects primed with negative, arousing images improved performance over those primed with either neutral or positive images, there was ultimately no reliable advantage for any of the affective prime conditions.

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