Repetition blindness is defined as difficulty detecting repeated targets within an array of stimuli. However, it is unclear how emotion affects this phenomenon. In the present study, participants were exposed to happy and angry faces, and nonemotional stimuli shown in rapid serial visual presentation. They were required to identify the repeated targets, and the magnitude of repetition blindness was measured to indicate emotional effects. Analysis showed that, while there was no difference in accuracy between happy and angry faces on non-repeated trials, accuracy was significantly lower for angry faces on repeated trials inducing greater repetition blindness. This effect was stronger when the stimulus exposure rate was 150 msec, suggesting its early processes and strong capturing of attention. These results show that repetition blindness effect was stronger with angry faces, which is likely due to enhanced emotional alertness and increase in intensity of the processes inducing greater repetition blindness.
ASJC Scopus subject areas