Reduction of interference effect by low spatial frequency information priming in an emotional Stroop task


The affective prediction hypothesis assumes that visual expectation allows fast and accurate processing of emotional stimuli. The prediction corresponds to what an object is likely to be. It therefore facilitates its identification by setting aside what the object is unlikely to be. It has then been suggested that prediction might be inevitably associated with the inhibition of irrelevant possibilities concerning the object to identify. Several studies highlighted that the facilitation of emotional perception depends on low spatial frequency (LSF) extraction. However, most of them used paradigms in which only the object to identify was present in the scene. As a consequence, there have yet been no studies investigating the efficiency of prediction in the visual perception of stimuli among irrelevant information. In this study, we designed a novel priming emotional Stroop task in which participants had to identify emotional facial expressions (EFEs) presented along with a congruent or incongruent word. To further investigate the role of early extraction of LSF information in top-down prediction during emotion recognition, the target EFE was primed with the same EFE filtered in LSF or high spatial frequency (HSF). Results reveal a reduction of the Stroop interference in the LSF compared to the HSF priming condition, which supports that visual expectation, depending on early LSF information extraction, facilitates the inhibition of irrelevant information during emotion recognition.

Journal of Vision, 15(6), 16.
Brice Beffara
Brice Beffara
Lecturer-researcher in psychology and methods

My research interests include social psychology, biological psychology, and methods.