Poster Session C, Sunday, March 24, 5:00 – 7:00 pm, Pacific Concourse
The Influence of Media Violence Exposure on the Neural Correlates of Explicit Emotional Face Processing and Subsequent Response Inhibition
Zoa Glab1, Laura A. Stockdale1,2, Sylena Wilson1, Marley Hornewer3, Sara Temelkova1, Rebecca L. Silton1, Robert G. Morrison1; 1Loyola University Chicago, 2Brigham Young University, 3University of Michigan
Research has shown that exposure to violent media is related to increased aggressive and decreased prosocial behavior. Theoretically, researchers have argued that desensitization to the emotions of others may be a mechanism underlying these changes. Recent studies of short-term and chronic exposure to media violence using implicit emotion paradigms tend to support this hypothesis. In contrast, when participants explicitly identify angry faces, exposure to media violence has been related to increased speed and accuracy. These results suggest that media violence may impact implicit and explicit emotion processing differently. In the present study EEG data were collected while participants (N = 28) categorized facial expressions as either happy or angry during a stop-signal task (SST). Prior to completing the SST, participants watched a violent and a non-violent film during two experimental sessions which were one-week apart. Within-subject analyses showed that SST accuracy and RT did not differ based on film exposure. However, increased N170 amplitude and decreased Early Posterior Negativity (EPN) latencies were observed after exposure to the violent film. Unlike in implicit emotion studies involving media violence, participants did not display modulations in stop-signal locked P300 amplitudes or latencies. Similar to previous studies using an implicit emotion SST, these results suggest that conscious attention to emotion modulates the neural correlates of emotional face processing after short-term exposure to media violence; however, the specific effects are not identical.
Topic Area: EMOTION & SOCIAL: Emotion-cognition interactions