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Scene VisionMaking Sense of What We See$
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Kestutis Kveraga and Moshe Bar

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780262027854

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262027854.001.0001

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Emotion and Motivation in the Perceptual Processing of Natural Scenes

Emotion and Motivation in the Perceptual Processing of Natural Scenes

(p.273) 13 Emotion and Motivation in the Perceptual Processing of Natural Scenes
Scene Vision

Margaret M. Bradley

Dean Sabatinelli

Peter J. Lang

The MIT Press

This chapter discusses the perceptual processing of natural scenes, focusing on the role of emotion and motivation. It proposes that the perceptual processing of emotionally arousing scenes triggers motivational circuits in the brain of mammals which initially helped the organism's survival. Event-related potentials (ERP) show that increased attention and enhanced memory are signs of emotional scene processing in both slow and fast rates of presentation. Furthermore, scenes that trigger the fundamental motivational systems of appetite and defense highlight critical information-processing mechanisms that function during natural scene recognition. All in all, research strongly supports the view that the perceptual processing of natural scenes is significantly enhanced when the array includes a motivationally significant cue, independent of the contributions of perceptual complexity, familiarity, color, and other perceptual characteristics of the scene.

Keywords:   motivational circuits, ERP, scene processing, organism's survival, emotional scenes, motivational cue

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