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(2014)COGNITION & EMOTION.28(8).p.1449-1464 Mark abstract The anger superiority effect shows that an angry face is detected more efficiently than a happy face. However, it is still controversial whether attentional allocation to angry faces is a bottom-up process or not. We investigated whether the anger superiority effect is influenced by top-down control, especially working memory (WM). Participants remembered a colour and then searched for differently coloured facial expressions. Just holding the colour information in WM did not modulate the anger superiority effect. However, when increasing the probabilities of trials in which the colour of a target face matched the colour held in WM, participants were inclined to direct attention to the target face regardless of the facial expression. Moreover, the knowledge of high probability of valid trials eliminated the anger superiority effect. These results suggest that the anger superiority effect is modulated by top-down effects of WM, the probability of events and expectancy about these probabilities.

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Author: J. Moriya, Ernst Koster and Rudi De Raedt



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