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Modulation of event-related brain potentials during affective picture processing: A complement to startle reflex and skin conductance response?

University Hospital of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University of Tübingen, Osianderstr. 24, 72072 Tübingen, Germany.
International Journal of Psychophysiology (Impact Factor: 2.65). 12/2004; 54(3):231-40. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijpsycho.2004.05.009
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The present study compared startle response, skin conductance response (SCR) and subjective variables (valence and arousal ratings, viewing time) assessed in an affective picture paradigm with simultaneously registered event-related brain potentials (ERPs) parameters such as P300 and positive slow waves (PSW). Pleasant, neutral and unpleasant pictures from the International Affective Picture System [Lang, P.J., Bradley, M.M., Cuthbert, B.N., 1999. International Affective Picture System (IAPS): Instruction manual and affective ratings. Technical Report A-4, Center for Research in Psychophysiology. University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida] were presented for 8 s, and startle probes were delivered during picture presentation. Startle response was modulated by picture valence, and SCR by picture arousal. ERP positivity was greater for pleasant and unpleasant than for neutral pictures for the P300 amplitude and the positive slow wave (PSW). ERPs showed characteristic differences and a distinct time course for pictures of different valence categories and may deliver useful information not contained in startle response or SCR measures. The simultaneous registration of startle responses and ERPs in the affective picture paradigm seems valuable.

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