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date: 23 November 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter focuses on the influence of emotion on cognitive processes, and underlying neural mechanisms. The influence of three aspects of emotional processing on perception and attention is discussed. First, literature on enhanced attention to emotionally arousing stimuli is reviewed. Addressed are the ongoing controversies about the relative automaticity of this “motivated attention” as well as those about its neural substrates, individual differences, and developmental changes. Next, evidence is presented that production of some facial expressions serves to enhance, and others to reduce, incoming sensory information. The chapter also reviews studies that investigate how sustained emotional states influence the nature and scope of selective attention. In particular, the role of positive affect in broadening attention by “unbiasing” competition for perceptual processing is addressed. Finally, findings are presented in relation to a view of the amygdala as a key hub linking cognitive and emotional process via allocation of bodily and cognitive resources.

Keywords: amygdala, attention, emotion, motivated attention, attention–emotion interactions, visual processing, facial expression

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