Sunday, 1 May 2016

Psychology PhD progression seminar: Implicit versus explicit measures of emotion processing

The School of Psychology’s Sensory, Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience Research Group is pleased to present the following PhD Progression Seminar. All Welcome!

Monday 2nd May 12:00-1:00 PM in the Keats Reading Room, Psychology Building Callaghan Campus & Science Office Meeting Room Ourimbah Campus.

Implicit versus explicit measures of emotion processing in people with aggressive tendencies and those who use pornography

Supervisors: Professor Peter Walla, Dr. Sean Halpin & Professor Raj Sitharthan

Functional Neuroimaging Laboratory
School of Psychology
University of Newcastle, Callaghan. NSW 2308 AUSTRALIA

Abstract: As researchers and clinicians are becoming more aware that many of our thought processes and behaviours occur beneath conscious awareness, the need to acquire methods to gain a better and more thorough understanding of non-conscious emotional processes becomes more important. Researchers and clinicians in the behavioural sciences rely heavily on the use of self-report questionnaires, this conscious feedback which is given can often bely underlying non-conscious processes which may provide a more accurate interpretation of an individual’s emotions. The current project aims to use objective physiological measures such as Electroencephalography (EEG), Electromyography (EMG in the form of startle reflex modulation), Skin Conductance and Heart Rate to generate the awareness of discrepancies between self-reported and objectively measured emotions. We explored particular groups within the general population who have no formal diagnosis of psychological or neurological disorders. In particular, known aggressive traits as well as frequency of pornography use. It is hypothesised that physiological differences in emotion-related processing will be seen between these groups but explicit responses will be similar and show no such differences. If this hypothesis is confirmed, there is potential that knowledge about such discrepancies allow us to broaden our understanding and better understand and predict behaviour in these groups.