Perceptual asymmetry for chimeric faces and winter disturbances in mood and behavior

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Abstract

Different affective disturbances are related to brain activity, and, thus, to perceptual bias in very specific ways (Keller et al., 2000). During the winter months, approximately 90% of people report lowered levels of mood and increased levels of anxiety to varying degrees (e.g., Magnusson, 2000). The current study examines the relationship between such winter mood disturbances and perceptual asymmetry on the chimeric-face task using a nonclinical sample (38 males and 92 females). Because of the suggested influence of symbolic tight on cognitive processing of seasonal depressives (Bouhuys, Meesters, Jansen, & Bloem, 1994), chimeric faces were presented on both symbolic bright and dark backgrounds. Face processing demonstrated the expected left hemifacial perceptual bias. However, the magnitude of individuals' perceptual bias bore no relation to subjectively reported seasonality, depressed mood, or anxiety. This was regardless of whether the faces were displayed on symbolic bright or dark backgrounds. Methodological factors must be considered. However, results are discussed in terms of the importance of clarifying the distinct nature of the psychological and neurobiological profile associated with winter disturbances in mood, and the possible influences of symbolic light on cognitive processing.
LanguageEnglish
Pages130-138
JournalEuropean Psychologist
Volume12
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2007

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Anxiety
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title = "Perceptual asymmetry for chimeric faces and winter disturbances in mood and behavior",
abstract = "Different affective disturbances are related to brain activity, and, thus, to perceptual bias in very specific ways (Keller et al., 2000). During the winter months, approximately 90{\%} of people report lowered levels of mood and increased levels of anxiety to varying degrees (e.g., Magnusson, 2000). The current study examines the relationship between such winter mood disturbances and perceptual asymmetry on the chimeric-face task using a nonclinical sample (38 males and 92 females). Because of the suggested influence of symbolic tight on cognitive processing of seasonal depressives (Bouhuys, Meesters, Jansen, & Bloem, 1994), chimeric faces were presented on both symbolic bright and dark backgrounds. Face processing demonstrated the expected left hemifacial perceptual bias. However, the magnitude of individuals' perceptual bias bore no relation to subjectively reported seasonality, depressed mood, or anxiety. This was regardless of whether the faces were displayed on symbolic bright or dark backgrounds. Methodological factors must be considered. However, results are discussed in terms of the importance of clarifying the distinct nature of the psychological and neurobiological profile associated with winter disturbances in mood, and the possible influences of symbolic light on cognitive processing.",
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Perceptual asymmetry for chimeric faces and winter disturbances in mood and behavior. / Ennis, Edel; McConville, Christopher.

In: European Psychologist, Vol. 12, No. 2, 2007, p. 130-138.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Perceptual asymmetry for chimeric faces and winter disturbances in mood and behavior

AU - Ennis, Edel

AU - McConville, Christopher

PY - 2007

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AB - Different affective disturbances are related to brain activity, and, thus, to perceptual bias in very specific ways (Keller et al., 2000). During the winter months, approximately 90% of people report lowered levels of mood and increased levels of anxiety to varying degrees (e.g., Magnusson, 2000). The current study examines the relationship between such winter mood disturbances and perceptual asymmetry on the chimeric-face task using a nonclinical sample (38 males and 92 females). Because of the suggested influence of symbolic tight on cognitive processing of seasonal depressives (Bouhuys, Meesters, Jansen, & Bloem, 1994), chimeric faces were presented on both symbolic bright and dark backgrounds. Face processing demonstrated the expected left hemifacial perceptual bias. However, the magnitude of individuals' perceptual bias bore no relation to subjectively reported seasonality, depressed mood, or anxiety. This was regardless of whether the faces were displayed on symbolic bright or dark backgrounds. Methodological factors must be considered. However, results are discussed in terms of the importance of clarifying the distinct nature of the psychological and neurobiological profile associated with winter disturbances in mood, and the possible influences of symbolic light on cognitive processing.

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