Perceptual, not memorial, disruption underlies emotion-induced blindness

Briana L. Kennedy, Steven B. Most

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Emotion-induced blindness refers to impaired awareness of stimuli appearing in the temporal wake of an emotionally arousing stimulus (S. B. Most, Chun, Widders, & Zald, 2005). In previous emotion-induced blindness experiments, participants withheld target responses until the end of a rapid stream of stimuli, even though each target appeared in the middle of the stream. The resulting interval between the targets' offset and participants' initiation of a response leaves open the possibility that emotion-induced blindness reflects a failure to encode or maintain target information in memory rather than a failure of perception. In the present study, participants engaged in a typical emotion-induced blindness task but initiated a response immediately upon seeing each target. Emotion-induced blindness was nevertheless robust. This suggests that emotion-induced blindness is not attributable to the delay between awareness of a target and the initiation of a response, but rather reflects the disruptive impact of emotional distractors on mechanisms driving conscious perception. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)199-202
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Perceptual, not memorial, disruption underlies emotion-induced blindness'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this