Negative emotions influence EEG correlates of inference formation during analogical reasoning

Authors: Leblanc-Sirois, Yanick; Gélinas, Claudine; Blanchette, Isabelle
Abstract: Previous research indicates that negative emotions influence cognitive resource utilization during analogical reasoning. However, no research has yet demonstrated an influence of negative emotions on inference formation during analogical reasoning. For this reason, we used evoked response potentials to investigate how negatively valenced content affects inference formation during analogical reasoning. Participants generated inferences about the missing term of 256 four-term analogies consisting of a first pair (A is to B), a second incomplete pair (as C is to?), and a probe term (D). We manipulated the affective valence of the terms (negative/neutral) forming the first two pairs and the soundness of the analogies. In Experiment 1, the terms were words and the relations were semantic in nature. We recorded the N400 event-related component time-locked to the probe term. The effect of analogy soundness on N400 amplitude was weaker when both pairs of terms were negative than when one or both pairs were neutral. In Experiment 2, we used analogies with negatively or neutrally conditioned symbols as terms, and visuospatial transformations as relations. We recorded the P3b event-related component time-locked to the final term of the analogy. The effect of analogy soundness on P3b amplitude was weaker when the first pair of terms was negatively conditioned than when they were neutrally conditioned. Results of both experiments suggested that negatively valenced content impairs the formation of inferences during analogical reasoning, as indicated by reduced effects of analogy soundness on N400 and P3b in the presence of negatively
Document Type: Article de recherche
Open Access Date: 1 August 2022
Document version: AM
Creative Commons Licence:
This document was published in: International journal of psychophysiology, Vol. 162, 49-59 (2021)
Alternative version: 10.1016/j.ijpsycho.2021.02.002
Collection:Articles publiés dans des revues avec comité de lecture

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