Emotional information influences our bodily experiences according to the space-valence metaphor (positive/negative is up/down). In the present study, we examined whether visible and invisible emotional stimuli could also modulate voluntary action. After observing an emotional image (e.g., positive, neutral, or negative), participants used a joystick to arbitrarily position a dot stimulus in a display. The emotional image was either masked (masked condition) or not (unmasked condition) via a continuous flash suppression technique, i.e., dynamic interocular masking. We found that in the unmasked condition, the placed position of the dot was significantly higher after observing the positive image compared with the negative image, but this difference was not present in the masked condition. Our findings suggest that conscious emotional information is necessary for activating sensorimotor representations of vertical directions, and voluntary action is performed based on these activations.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)