Title

Emotional Modulation of the Post‐Auricular Reflex

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2-4-2004

Publication Title

Psychophysiology

Volume

41

Issue

3

First page number:

426

Last page number:

432

Abstract

A large literature now exists on emotional modulation of the startle blink reflex. The current study examined affective modulation of the post‐auricular reflex, which can be measured in relation to the same noise probe used to evoke the startle reflex. We recorded the post‐auricular reflex during viewing of pictures that varied systematically in emotional valence, content, and intensity. A significant linear valence modulation effect was found, with pleasant pictures potentiating and aversive pictures inhibiting the post‐auricular reflex in comparison with neutral pictures. This modulatory effect did not vary as a function of picture content, but it was most robust for highly intense emotional pictures. Implications for the assessment of basic emotional action tendencies are discussed.

Keywords

Post-auricular; Emotion; Appetitive; Startle; Reflex; Post-auricular reflex

Disciplines

Medicine and Health Sciences | Psychiatry and Psychology | Psychological Phenomena and Processes

Language

English

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