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      Race and gender on the brain: Electrocortical measures of attention to the race and gender of multiply categorizable individuals.

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      Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
      American Psychological Association (APA)

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          Abstract

          The degree to which perceivers automatically attend to and encode social category information was investigated. Event-related brain potentials were used to assess attentional and working-memory processes on-line as participants were presented with pictures of Black and White males and females. The authors found that attention was preferentially directed to Black targets very early in processing (by about 100 ms after stimulus onset) in both experiments. Attention to gender also emerged early but occurred about 50 ms later than attention to race. Later working-memory processes were sensitive to more complex relations between the group memberships of a target individual and the surrounding social context. These working-memory processes were sensitive to both the explicit categorization task participants were performing as well as more implicit, task-irrelevant categorization dimensions. Results are consistent with models suggesting that information about certain category dimensions is encoded relatively automatically.

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          Most cited references36

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          On perceptual readiness.

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            Negative information weighs more heavily on the brain: the negativity bias in evaluative categorizations.

            Negative information tends to influence evaluations more strongly than comparably extreme positive information. To test whether this negativity bias operates at the evaluative categorization stage, the authors recorded event-related brain potentials (ERPs), which are more sensitive to the evaluative categorization than the response output stage, as participants viewed positive, negative, and neutral pictures. Results revealed larger amplitude late positive brain potentials during the evaluative categorization of (a) positive and negative stimuli as compared with neutral stimuli and (b) negative as compared with positive stimuli, even though both were equally probable, evaluatively extreme, and arousing. These results provide support for the hypothesis that the negativity bias in affective processing occurs as early as the initial categorization into valence classes.
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              Electrophysiological correlates of feature analysis during visual search.

              Event-related brain potentials (ERPs) were recorded from normal young adults during visual search tasks in which the stimulus arrays contained either eight identical items (homogeneous arrays) or seven identical items and one deviant item (pop-out arrays). Four experiments were conducted in which different classes of stimulus arrays were designated targets and the remaining stimulus arrays were designated nontargets. In Experiments 1 and 2, both target and nontarget pop-out stimuli elicited an enhanced anterior N2 wave and a contralaterally larger posterior P1 wave, but Experiments 3 and 4 demonstrated that these components do not reflect fully automatic pop-out detection processes. In all four experiments, target pop-outs elicited enlarged anterior P2, posterior N2, occipital P3, and parietal P3 waves. The target-elicited posterior N2 wave contained a contralateral subcomponent (N2pc) that exhibited a focus over occipital cortex in maps of current source density. The overall pattern of results was consistent with guided search models in which preattentive stimulus information is used to guide attention to task-relevant stimuli.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
                Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
                American Psychological Association (APA)
                1939-1315
                0022-3514
                October 2003
                October 2003
                : 85
                : 4
                : 616-626
                Article
                10.1037/0022-3514.85.4.616
                14561116
                89018500-b528-41a1-8fc8-c4290dae53e9
                © 2003
                History

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