Haneda, K., Iidaka, T. and Ohira, H., Nagoya University, Japan
The subliminal affective priming is a phenomenon that affective valenced stimuli presented out of awareness produce significant shifts of subjects' affective judgment of supraliminal target stimuli subsequently presented (Murphy & Zajonc, 1993). Eyeblink provides information about cognitive processes including attention. The present study examined endogenous eyeblink rate to attention allocated to different prime stimulus in a typical subliminal affective priming task using facial expressions as prime and target stimuli. Actually all target faces of which duration were 500 msec. expressed weak and ambiguous anger. Just before presentation of the target face, one prime of four conditions was presented with 35 msec. duration. Primes were anger face, neutral face, non-face object, and blank as a control stimulus. Each condition included 30 trials and totally 120 trials were conducted in a random order. The eyeblink was measured using a pair of electrodes placed above and blow the subject's right eye (EOG). The intertrial interval was divided into 300-msec. periods, and the average frequency of eyeblink in each period in each condition was determined. As results, eyeblink rate was higher in the blank condition than in the anger prime condition. Based on previous studies on eyeblink response, this result can be interpreted that target stimuli in the anger prime condition were processed easily by the subliminal priming effect and thus less attention was required. On the other hand, the blank condition required relatively more attention to process.