Neural response to sustained affective visual stimulation using an indirect task
Event-related potentials were recorded from 30 subjects using sustained stimulation and an indirect task, two strategies which facilitate affective responses that are complete and free of cognitive interference. Stimuli were of three types: pleasant, unpleasant and neutral. A three-phase pattern was found. The first phase, an amplitude increase in response to negative stimuli higher than to neutral and pleasant stimuli, was produced at 160 ms after stimulus onset, the prefrontal cortex being the origin of this phase. The second phase, characterized by maximal amplitudes in response to positive stimuli, was produced at 400 ms, originating in the visual cortex. Finally, the third phase, another amplitude increase in response to negative stimuli, was produced at 680 ms, and its source was located in the left precentral gyrus. Present data show that the cortical response to sustained emotional visual stimulation presented within indirect tasks provides information on attention-, motivation-and motor-related biases that complement information obtained under other experimental conditions.