Abstract

Garcia-Garcia, M., Dominguez-Borras, J., SanMiguel, I., & Escera, C. (2008). Electrophysiological and behavioral evidence of gender differences in the modulation of distraction by the emotional context. Biological Psychology, 79(3), 307-316.

Electrophysiological and behavioral evidence of gender differences in the modulation of distraction by the emotional context

Gender differences in brain activity while processing emotional stimuli have been demonstrated by neuroimaging and electrophysiological studies. However, the possible differential effects of emotion on attentional mechanisms between women and men are less understood. The present study aims to elucidate any gender differences in the modulation of unexpected auditory stimulus processing using an emotional context elicited by aversive images. Fourteen men and fourteen women performed a well-established auditory-visual distraction paradigm in which distraction was elicited by novel stimuli within a neutral or negative emotional context induced by images from the IAPS. Response time increased after unexpected novel sounds as a behavioral effect of distraction, and this increase was larger for women, but not for men, within the negative emotional context. Novelty-P3 was also modulated by the emotional context for women but not for men. These results reveal stronger novelty processing in women than in men during a threatening situation.



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