The color red attracts attention in an emotional context. An ERP study

Michał Kuniecki , Joanna Pilarczyk , Szymon Wichary


The color red is known to influence psychological functioning, having both negative (e.g., blood, fire, danger), and positive (e.g., sex, food) connotations. The aim of our study was to assess the attentional capture by red-colored images, and to explore the modulatory role of the emotional valence in this process, as postulated by Elliot and Maier (2012) color-in-context theory. Participants completed a dot-probe task with each cue comprising two images of equal valence and arousal, one containing a prominent red object and the other an object of different coloration. Reaction times were measured, as well as the event-related lateralizations of the EEG. Modulation of the lateralized components revealed that the color red captured and later held the attention in both positive and negative conditions, but not in a neutral condition. An overt motor response to the target stimulus was affected mainly by attention lingering over the visual field where the red cue had been flashed. However, a weak influence of the valence could still be detected in reaction times. Therefore, red seems to guide attention, specifically in emotionally-valenced circumstances, indicating that an emotional context can alter color’s impact both on attention and motor behavior.
Author Michał Kuniecki
Michał Kuniecki,,
, Joanna Pilarczyk
Joanna Pilarczyk,,
, Szymon Wichary (Wydział Psychologii)
Szymon Wichary,,
- Wydział Psychologii
Journal seriesFrontiers in Human Neuroscience, ISSN 1662-5161, (A 35 pkt)
Issue year2015
Publication size in sheets0
Keywords in Englishattention, emotion, visual perception, the color red, event-related potentials
ASJC Classification2802 Behavioral Neuroscience; 2803 Biological Psychiatry; 2738 Psychiatry and Mental health; 2808 Neurology; 3206 Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
Languageen angielski
kuniecki et attracts attention.ERP study.front hum neurosci.pdf 1.34 MB
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BROWN_IR-ADV5255_16_0107_001-44.pdf 15.5 KB
Score (nominal)35
Publication indicators Scopus SNIP (Source Normalised Impact per Paper): 2015 = 1.037; WoS Impact Factor: 2015 = 3.634 (2) - 2015=4.04 (5)
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