15 lutego 2024

How far can the self be extended? Automatic attention capture is triggered not only by the self-face

Authors: Anna Żochowska,  Michał J. Wójcik, and Anna Nowicka

doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2023.1279653

The preferential processing of self-related information is thought to be driven by its high level of familiarity. However, some behavioral studies have shown that people may exhibit a preference for initially unfamiliar stimuli that have been associated with themselves arbitrarily. One of the key questions that needs to be addressed concerns the role of early attention in the prioritization of newly acquired information associated with the self. Another question is whether both highly familiar as well as new information referring to a subjectively significant person (i.e. close-other) benefits from preferential attentional processing. We aimed to tackle both questions by investigating the neural mechanisms involved in processing extremely familiar stimuli, like one’s own face or the face of a close-other, as well as stimuli (abstract shapes) that were newly linked to each person. We used a dot-probe paradigm that allowed us to investigate the early stages of attentional prioritization. Our analysis of the N2pc component unveiled that attention was automatically captured by the self-face, a shape associated with oneself, and the face of the close person. However, a shape associated with the close-other did not elicit the same attentional response, as the N2pc was absent. Thus, both the self-face and information referring to the extended self (self-assigned shape, close-other’s face) benefit from preferential early and automatic attentional processing.


See more: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC10655240/


Instytut Biologii Doświadczalnej im. Marcelego Nenckiego

Polska Akademia Nauk

ul. Pasteura 3, 02-093 Warszawa, Polska