Repetitive exposure: brain and reflex measures of emotion and attention

Psychophysiology. 2011 Apr;48(4):515-22. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8986.2010.01083.x.


Effects of massed repetition on the modulation of the late positive potential elicited during affective picture viewing were investigated in two experiments. Despite a difference in the number of repetitions across studies (from 5 to 30), results were quite similar: The late positive potential continued to be enhanced when participants viewed emotional, compared to neutral, pictures. On the other hand, massed repetition did prompt a reduction in the late positive potential that was most pronounced for emotional pictures. Startle probe P3 amplitude generally increased with repetition, suggesting diminished attention allocation to repeated pictures. The blink reflex, however, continued to be modulated by hedonic valence, despite massive massed repetition. Taken together, the data suggest that the amplitude of the late positive potential during picture viewing reflects both motivational significance and attention allocation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Stimulation
  • Adult
  • Attention / physiology*
  • Blinking / physiology
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Data Interpretation, Statistical
  • Electroencephalography
  • Electromyography
  • Emotions / physiology*
  • Event-Related Potentials, P300 / physiology
  • Evoked Potentials / physiology
  • Female
  • Fixation, Ocular / physiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Reflex / physiology*
  • Reflex, Startle / physiology
  • Young Adult