Emotion is an essential aspect of our life.Many emotional stimuli are processed without being consciously perceived. Studies suggest that subcortical structures have a substantial role in thisprocessing. These structures are part of a phylogenetically ancient pathway that has specificfunctional properties and that interacts with cortical processes. In particular, it has been suggested that emotional stimuli have privileged access to higher cortical processing, which in turns explains the automaticity of such stimuli.

Our research focuses on the relationship between emotion and attention. In various studies we have suggested that emotional stimuli can be down regulated by higher cognitive processes and in particular by processes involved in cognitive control.


Selected publications

Okon-Singer, H., Tzelgov, J., & Henik, A. (2007). Distinguishing between automaticity and attention in the processing of emotionally-significant stimuli.Emotion, 7, 147-157.

Cohen, N., Henik, A., &Mor, N. (2011). Can emotion modulate attention? Evidence for reciprocal links in the attentional network test.Experimental Psychology, 58, 171-179.

Okon-Singer, H., Alyagon, U., Kofman, O., Tzelgov, J., & Henik, A. (2011). Fear-related pictures deteriorate performance of university students with high fear from snakes or spiders. Stress, 14, 185-193.

Lichtenstein-Vidne, L., Henik, A., & Safadi, Z. (2012). Task relevance modulates processing of distracting emotional stimuli. Cognition & Emotion, 26, 42-52.

Cohen, N., & Henik, A. (in press). Do irrelevant emotional stimuli impair or improve executive contro? Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience.

Okon-Singer, H., Lichtenstein-Vidne, L., and Cohen, N. (2012).Dynamic modulation of emotional processing. Biological Psychologydoi:10.1016/j.biopsycho.2012.05.010​