Negative emotional stimuli enhance vestibular processing

Preuss, Nora; Ellis, Andrew W.; Mast, Fred W. (24 January 2015). Negative emotional stimuli enhance vestibular processing (Unpublished). In: Swiss Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting. University of Fribourg. 24.01.2015.

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Recent studies have shown that vestibular stimulation can influence affective processes. In the present study, we examined whether emotional information can also modulate vestibular perception. Participants performed a vestibular discrimination task on a motion platform while viewing emotional pictures. Six different picture categories were taken from the International Affective Picture System: mutilation, threat, snakes, neutral objects, sports and erotic pictures. Using a Bayesian hierarchical approach we were able to show that vestibular discrimination improved when participants viewed emotionally negative pictures (mutilation, threat, snake) when compared to neutral objects. There was no difference in vestibular discrimination while viewing emotionally positive compared to neutral pictures. We conclude that some of the mechanisms involved in the processing of vestibular information are also sensitive to emotional content. Emotional information signals importance and mobilizes the body for action. In case of danger, a successful motor response requires precise vestibular processing. Therefore, negative emotional information improves processing of vestibular information.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)


07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Cognitive Psychology, Perception and Methodology
10 Strategic Research Centers > Center for Cognition, Learning and Memory (CCLM)

UniBE Contributor:

Preuss, Nora, Ellis, Andrew, Mast, Fred


100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology




Andrew William Ellis

Date Deposited:

27 Mar 2015 06:33

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:43




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