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The Cognitive-Emotional BrainFrom Interactions to Integration$
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Luiz Pessoa

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780262019569

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262019569.001.0001

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Attention and Emotion

Attention and Emotion

(p.81) 4 Attention and Emotion
The Cognitive-Emotional Brain

Luiz Pessoa

The MIT Press

The chapter reviews the role of attention during the processing of emotion-laden visual information, discussing evidence both for and against automaticity. It emphasizes that several of the terms most often used to describe affective processing—“preattentive,” “automatic,” and “unaware”—are saturated with both intended and unintended connotations. The chapter advances a processing efficiency framework as a way out of the current impasse observed in the literature, a framework in which terms like “preattentive” and “automatic” do not exist because the binary dichotomies are replaced by a continuum of processing efficiencies. The framework incorporates important capacity limitations that moderate the impact of emotional information in the brain and behavior.

Keywords:   attention, emotion, automaticity, resources, awareness

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