Temporal dynamics of event-related potentials related to goal conduciveness and power appraisals

Authors

  • Kornelia Gentsch,

    Corresponding author
    1. Neuroscience of Emotion and Affective Dynamics Lab (NEAD), Department of Psychology, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland
    • Swiss Center for Affective Sciences (CISA), University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland
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  • Didier Grandjean,

    1. Swiss Center for Affective Sciences (CISA), University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland
    2. Neuroscience of Emotion and Affective Dynamics Lab (NEAD), Department of Psychology, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland
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  • Klaus R. Scherer

    1. Swiss Center for Affective Sciences (CISA), University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland
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  • This article is part of the PhD project of Kornelia Gentsch. The research was funded by an ERC Advanced Grant in the European Community's 7th Framework Programme under grant agreement No. 230331-PROPEREMO (Production and perception of emotion: An affective sciences approach) to Klaus R. Scherer and by the National Center of Competence in Research (NCCR) Affective Sciences financed by the Swiss National Science Foundation (No. 51NF40-104897) hosted by the University of Geneva.

Address correspondence to: Kornelia Gentsch, Swiss Center for Affective Sciences, University of Geneva, 7 rue des Battoirs, CH-1205 Geneva, Switzerland. E-mail: kornelia.gentsch@unige.ch

Abstract

The Component Process Model hypothesizes that appraisal—the mechanism that elicits and differentiates emotion—is processed sequentially. It predicts that the goal conduciveness check (motivational valence evaluation) is evaluated before the power check (evaluation of the degree of power to act on events). To test this prediction, we recorded event-related potentials (ERPs) during a gambling task in response to feedback that simultaneously presented the goal conduciveness (outcome: win, loss, or break-even) and the power check (options to act on the outcome) information. In line with the sequence hypothesis, mean amplitudes of subsequent ERPs were differentially modulated by the appraisal information. The feedback-related negativity was sensitive to the goal conduciveness check, and the P300 yielded main effects of both appraisal checks. Results suggest that neural evaluative processes associated with appraisal processing are sequential.

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