Comparing the response modulation hypothesis and the integrated emotions system theory: The role of top-down attention in psychopathy

Jaap Munneke, Sylco S. Hoppenbrouwers, Bethany Little, Karen Kooiman, Erik van der Burg, Jan Theeuwes

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Objective Two major etiological theories on psychopathy propose different mechanisms as to how emotional facial expressions are processed by individuals with elevated psychopathic traits. The Response Modulation Hypothesis (RMH) proposes that psychopathic individuals show emotional deficits as a consequence of attentional deployment, suggesting that emotional deficits are situation-specific. The Integrated Emotions System theory (IES) suggests that psychopathic individuals have a fundamental amygdala dysfunction which precludes adequate responsiveness to the distress of others. Methods Participants performed a visual search task in which they had to find a male target face among two female distractor faces. Top-down attentional set was manipulated by having participants either respond to the face's orientation, or its emotional expression. Results When emotion was task-relevant, the low-scoring psychopathy group showed attentional capture by happy and fearful distractor faces, whereas the elevated group showed capture by fearful, but not happy distractor faces. Conclusion This study provides evidence for the RMH such that top-down attention influences the way emotional faces attract attention in individuals with elevated psychopathic traits. However, the different response patterns for happy and fearful faces suggest that top-down attention may not determine the processing of all types of emotional facial expressions in psychopathy.

LanguageEnglish
Pages134-139
Number of pages6
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Volume122
Early online date5 Nov 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2018

Fingerprint

Systems Theory
Emotions
Facial Expression
Amygdala

Keywords

  • Attention
  • Emotional capture
  • Fear
  • Psychopathy
  • Response modulation

Cite this

@article{9ddff599a69c457f97384326e1e73cd8,
title = "Comparing the response modulation hypothesis and the integrated emotions system theory: The role of top-down attention in psychopathy",
abstract = "Objective Two major etiological theories on psychopathy propose different mechanisms as to how emotional facial expressions are processed by individuals with elevated psychopathic traits. The Response Modulation Hypothesis (RMH) proposes that psychopathic individuals show emotional deficits as a consequence of attentional deployment, suggesting that emotional deficits are situation-specific. The Integrated Emotions System theory (IES) suggests that psychopathic individuals have a fundamental amygdala dysfunction which precludes adequate responsiveness to the distress of others. Methods Participants performed a visual search task in which they had to find a male target face among two female distractor faces. Top-down attentional set was manipulated by having participants either respond to the face's orientation, or its emotional expression. Results When emotion was task-relevant, the low-scoring psychopathy group showed attentional capture by happy and fearful distractor faces, whereas the elevated group showed capture by fearful, but not happy distractor faces. Conclusion This study provides evidence for the RMH such that top-down attention influences the way emotional faces attract attention in individuals with elevated psychopathic traits. However, the different response patterns for happy and fearful faces suggest that top-down attention may not determine the processing of all types of emotional facial expressions in psychopathy.",
keywords = "Attention, Emotional capture, Fear, Psychopathy, Response modulation",
author = "Jaap Munneke and Hoppenbrouwers, {Sylco S.} and Bethany Little and Karen Kooiman and {van der Burg}, Erik and Jan Theeuwes",
year = "2018",
month = "2",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1016/j.paid.2017.10.019",
language = "English",
volume = "122",
pages = "134--139",
journal = "Personality and Individual Differences",
issn = "0191-8869",
publisher = "Elsevier BV",

}

Comparing the response modulation hypothesis and the integrated emotions system theory : The role of top-down attention in psychopathy. / Munneke, Jaap; Hoppenbrouwers, Sylco S.; Little, Bethany; Kooiman, Karen; van der Burg, Erik; Theeuwes, Jan.

In: Personality and Individual Differences, Vol. 122, 01.02.2018, p. 134-139.

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Comparing the response modulation hypothesis and the integrated emotions system theory

T2 - Personality and Individual Differences

AU - Munneke, Jaap

AU - Hoppenbrouwers, Sylco S.

AU - Little, Bethany

AU - Kooiman, Karen

AU - van der Burg, Erik

AU - Theeuwes, Jan

PY - 2018/2/1

Y1 - 2018/2/1

N2 - Objective Two major etiological theories on psychopathy propose different mechanisms as to how emotional facial expressions are processed by individuals with elevated psychopathic traits. The Response Modulation Hypothesis (RMH) proposes that psychopathic individuals show emotional deficits as a consequence of attentional deployment, suggesting that emotional deficits are situation-specific. The Integrated Emotions System theory (IES) suggests that psychopathic individuals have a fundamental amygdala dysfunction which precludes adequate responsiveness to the distress of others. Methods Participants performed a visual search task in which they had to find a male target face among two female distractor faces. Top-down attentional set was manipulated by having participants either respond to the face's orientation, or its emotional expression. Results When emotion was task-relevant, the low-scoring psychopathy group showed attentional capture by happy and fearful distractor faces, whereas the elevated group showed capture by fearful, but not happy distractor faces. Conclusion This study provides evidence for the RMH such that top-down attention influences the way emotional faces attract attention in individuals with elevated psychopathic traits. However, the different response patterns for happy and fearful faces suggest that top-down attention may not determine the processing of all types of emotional facial expressions in psychopathy.

AB - Objective Two major etiological theories on psychopathy propose different mechanisms as to how emotional facial expressions are processed by individuals with elevated psychopathic traits. The Response Modulation Hypothesis (RMH) proposes that psychopathic individuals show emotional deficits as a consequence of attentional deployment, suggesting that emotional deficits are situation-specific. The Integrated Emotions System theory (IES) suggests that psychopathic individuals have a fundamental amygdala dysfunction which precludes adequate responsiveness to the distress of others. Methods Participants performed a visual search task in which they had to find a male target face among two female distractor faces. Top-down attentional set was manipulated by having participants either respond to the face's orientation, or its emotional expression. Results When emotion was task-relevant, the low-scoring psychopathy group showed attentional capture by happy and fearful distractor faces, whereas the elevated group showed capture by fearful, but not happy distractor faces. Conclusion This study provides evidence for the RMH such that top-down attention influences the way emotional faces attract attention in individuals with elevated psychopathic traits. However, the different response patterns for happy and fearful faces suggest that top-down attention may not determine the processing of all types of emotional facial expressions in psychopathy.

KW - Attention

KW - Emotional capture

KW - Fear

KW - Psychopathy

KW - Response modulation

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85033434574&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85033434574&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.paid.2017.10.019

DO - 10.1016/j.paid.2017.10.019

M3 - Article

VL - 122

SP - 134

EP - 139

JO - Personality and Individual Differences

JF - Personality and Individual Differences

SN - 0191-8869

ER -