Emotion experience and physiology in response to masked and non-masked presentations of emotional pictures

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/280373
Title:
Emotion experience and physiology in response to masked and non-masked presentations of emotional pictures
Author:
Nielsen, Helen L.
Issue Date:
2003
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
Recent theories propose that subtle emotional feelings can guide decision-making when insufficient information about the source of those feelings exists. To assess whether emotion experiences possess the properties necessary to play this functional role, subjects in the present study reported on feelings elicited by visually masked emotional pictures. Potential sources of individual differences in the ability to discriminate subtle "gut feelings" were also explored. 16 long-term meditators and 18 non-meditators viewed a series of pictures with pleasant, neutral, and unpleasant content, both masked and nonmasked, and reported on experienced valence and arousal, while measures of skin conductance (SCR), facial electromyography (EMG), and heart rate (HR) were simultaneously recorded. Masked emotional pictures did not elicit discriminatory SCR or EMG responses. HR discriminated among masked pictures by arousal, but not by valence. Both meditators and controls discriminated among masked stimuli in self-reported arousal, but only non-meditators demonstrated accurate valence discrimination. Unpleasant pictures were better discriminated from neutral pictures than were pleasant pictures. Ability to detect feelings elicited by masked stimuli was unrelated to heartbeat detection ability, cardiac vagal tone, or self-reported attention to emotional states, though self-reported emotional clarity predicted better arousal discrimination. It is proposed that awareness of emotion experience may involve both a visceral awareness and a non-visceral awareness of feeling qualities. Long-term meditation practice of the type adopted by participants in the present study, with its focus on the former, may reduce access to non-visceral feeling states.
Type:
text; Dissertation-Reproduction (electronic)
Keywords:
Psychology, Cognitive.; Psychology, Physiological.
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Graduate College; Psychology
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Kaszniak, Alfred W.

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoen_USen_US
dc.titleEmotion experience and physiology in response to masked and non-masked presentations of emotional picturesen_US
dc.creatorNielsen, Helen L.en_US
dc.contributor.authorNielsen, Helen L.en_US
dc.date.issued2003en_US
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractRecent theories propose that subtle emotional feelings can guide decision-making when insufficient information about the source of those feelings exists. To assess whether emotion experiences possess the properties necessary to play this functional role, subjects in the present study reported on feelings elicited by visually masked emotional pictures. Potential sources of individual differences in the ability to discriminate subtle "gut feelings" were also explored. 16 long-term meditators and 18 non-meditators viewed a series of pictures with pleasant, neutral, and unpleasant content, both masked and nonmasked, and reported on experienced valence and arousal, while measures of skin conductance (SCR), facial electromyography (EMG), and heart rate (HR) were simultaneously recorded. Masked emotional pictures did not elicit discriminatory SCR or EMG responses. HR discriminated among masked pictures by arousal, but not by valence. Both meditators and controls discriminated among masked stimuli in self-reported arousal, but only non-meditators demonstrated accurate valence discrimination. Unpleasant pictures were better discriminated from neutral pictures than were pleasant pictures. Ability to detect feelings elicited by masked stimuli was unrelated to heartbeat detection ability, cardiac vagal tone, or self-reported attention to emotional states, though self-reported emotional clarity predicted better arousal discrimination. It is proposed that awareness of emotion experience may involve both a visceral awareness and a non-visceral awareness of feeling qualities. Long-term meditation practice of the type adopted by participants in the present study, with its focus on the former, may reduce access to non-visceral feeling states.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeDissertation-Reproduction (electronic)en_US
dc.subjectPsychology, Cognitive.en_US
dc.subjectPsychology, Physiological.en_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.disciplinePsychologyen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorKaszniak, Alfred W.en_US
dc.identifier.proquest3107025en_US
dc.identifier.bibrecord.b44666159en_US
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