intracranial record of emotions evoked by subliminal words

Allen L. Barker alb at datafilter.com
Sat May 21 19:04:43 EST 2005


www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.0500542102

Published online before print May 16, 2005
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 10.1073/pnas.0500542102

Neuroscience

A direct intracranial record of emotions evoked by subliminal words

( amygdala | semantic | visual masking )

[...]

A classical but still open issue in cognitive psychology concerns the
depth of subliminal processing. Can the meaning of undetected words
be accessed in the absence of consciousness? Subliminal priming
experiments in normal subjects have revealed only small effects whose
interpretation remains controversial. Here, we provide a direct
demonstration of semantic access for unseen masked words. In three
epileptic patients with intracranial electrodes, we recorded brain
potentials from the amygdala, a neural structure that responds to
fearful or threatening stimuli presented in various modalities,
including written words. We show that the subliminal presentation of
emotional words modulates the activity of the amygdala at a long
latency (>800 ms). Our result indicates that subliminal words can
trigger long-lasting cerebral processes, including semantic access
to emotional valence.

[...]




-- 
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