Emotionally arousing events reach awareness more easily and evoke greater visual cortex activation than more mundane events. Recent studies have shown that they are also perceived more vividly and that emotionally enhanced perceptual vividness predicts memory vividness. We propose that affect-biased attention (ABA) – selective attention to emotionally salient events – is an endogenous attentional system tuned by an individual's history of reward and punishment. We present the Biased Attention via Norepinephrine (BANE) model, which unifies genetic, neuromodulatory, neural and behavioural (...) evidence to account for ABA. We review evidence supporting BANE's proposal that a key mechanism of ABA is locus coeruleus–norepinephrine (LC–NE) activity, which interacts with activity in hubs of affective salience networks to modulate visual cortex activation and heighten the subjective vividness of emotionally salient stimuli. We further review literature on biased competition and look at initial evidence for its potential as a neural mechanism behind ABA. We also review evidence supporting the role of the LC–NE system as a driving force of ABA. Finally, we review individual differences in ABA and memory including differences in sensitivity to stimulus category and valence. We focus on differences arising from a variant of the ADRA2b gene, which codes for the alpha2b adrenoreceptor as a way of investigating influences of NE availability on ABA in humans. (shrink)
Although much research on emotion and morality has treated emotion as a relatively undifferentiated construct, recent work shows that moral transgressions can evoke a variety of distinct emotions. To accommodate these results, we propose a multiple-appraisal model in which distinct appraisals lead to different moral emotions. The implications of this model for our understanding of the relationship between appraisals, emotions and judgments are discussed. The complexity of moral emotional experience presents a methodological challenge to researchers, but we submit that a (...) complete understanding of human morality must acknowledge the differentiated nature of moral emotions. (shrink)
Royzman and Kurzban suggest that disgust-related facial activity in response to unfairness may reflect a metaphorical communication rather than genuine feelings of disgust. We argue that this is a partial reading of our findings and that our experimental data, and those of others, are inconsistent with a social metaphor interpretation.
Language is a social act. We have previously argued that language remains embedded in sociality because the motivation to communicate exists only within a social context. Schilbach et al. underscore the importance of studying linguistic behavior from within the motivated, socially interactive frame in which it is learnt and used, as well as provide testable hypotheses for a participatory, second-person neuroscience approach to language learning.