- Gamma flicker elicits positive affect without awareness
- Consciousness and Cognition
- Volume | Issue number
- 22 | 1
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
High-frequency oscillations emerged as a neural code for both positive affect and fluent attentional processing from evolutionary simulations with artificial neural networks. Visual 50 Hz flicker, which entrains neural oscillations in the gamma band, has been shown to foster attentional switching, but can it also elicit positive affect? A three-faces display (2-female/1-male or 2-male/1-female) was preceded by a 50, 25, or 0 Hz flicker on the position of the odd-one-out (i.e., the target). Participants decided on the gender (Block 1) or on the subjective valence (Block 2) of this neutral target in an approach-avoidance task, which served as an implicit affective measure. Only the detection of 25 Hz flicker, but not of 50 Hz flicker, was above chance (Block 3). Faces primed by invisible 50 Hz flicker were explicitly evaluated more positively than with 25 Hz or 0 Hz. This gamma flicker also facilitated approach reactions, and inhibited avoidance reactions relative to 25 Hz and 0 Hz flicker in Blocks 1 and 2. Attentional switching was, moreover, enhanced by the 50 Hz flicker. According to the Affect-Gamma hypothesis, also in biological neural networks, high-frequency gamma oscillations may code for positive affect.
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