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2017

  • [PDF] [DOI] Imhof, M. A., Schmälzle, R., Renner, B., & Schupp, H. T.. (2017). How real-life health messages engage our brains: Shared processing of effective anti-alcohol videos.. Social, Cognitive, and Affective Neuroscience.
    [Bibtex]
    @Article{imhof2017how,
    author = {Imhof, Martin A and Schm{\"a}lzle, Ralf and Renner, Britta and Schupp, Harald T},
    title = {How real-life health messages engage our brains: Shared processing of effective anti-alcohol videos.},
    journal = {Social, Cognitive, and Affective Neuroscience},
    year = {2017},
    month = {Apr},
    __markedentry = {[Ralf:6]},
    abstract = {Health communication via mass media is an important strategy when targeting risky drinking, but many questions remain about how health messages are processed and how they unfold their effects within receivers. Here we examine how the brains of young adults - a key target group for alcohol prevention - 'tune in' to real-life health prevention messages about risky alcohol use. In a first study, a large sample of authentic public service announcements (PSAs) targeting the risks of alcohol was characterized using established measures of message effectiveness. In the main study, we used inter-subject correlation analysis of fMRI data to examine brain responses to more and less effective PSAs in a sample of young adults. We find that more effective messages command more similar responses within widespread brain regions, including the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex, insulae, and precuneus. In previous research these regions have been related to narrative engagement, self-relevance, and attention towards salient stimuli. The present study thus suggests that more effective health prevention messages have greater 'neural reach', i.e. they engage the brains of audience members' more widely. This work outlines a promising strategy for assessing the effects of health communication at a neural level.},
    address = {England},
    doi = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/scan/nsx044},
    issn = {1749-5016 (Linking)},
    keywords = {alcohol, fMRI, health communication, inter-subject correlation, public service announcements, self}
    }
  • [DOI] Schmälzle, R., Renner, B., & Schupp, H. T.. (2017). Health risk perception and risk communication. Policy Insights from the Behavioral and Brain Sciences.
    [Bibtex]
    @Article{schmaelzle2017healthrisk,
    author = {Schm{\"a}lzle, Ralf and Renner, Britta and Schupp, Harald T},
    title = {Health risk perception and risk communication},
    journal = {Policy Insights from the Behavioral and Brain Sciences},
    year = {2017},
    abstract = {Risk perceptions are a prerequisite for protective action. Both scientists and practitioners need to understand the multi-faceted nature of health risk perception and risk communication. This article reviews insights from psychophysiological research, with a focus on neuroscientific approaches that examine the biological basis of risk perception in the brain and capture the brain response to health and risk messages. Specifically, we discuss the key role of intuitive processes for personal risk perception and the difference between absolute and comparative risk. We then describe the relationship between risk perception and health behavior change and present recent work that measures responses to health prevention messages. Finally, we discuss implications for translation to public health policy and point to needs for future research. A better understanding of the biological roots of personal risk perception and how these can be addressed via risk communication informs policymakers in designing effective public health interventions.},
    doi = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1177%2F2372732217720223}
    }
  • [DOI] [CODE] Schmälzle, R., Brook O’Donnell, M., Garcia, J. O., Cascio, C. N. C., Bayer, J., Vettel Jean, Bassett Danielle, & Falk, E. B.. (2017). Brain connectivity dynamics during social interaction reflect social network structure. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 114(20), 5153?5158.
    [Bibtex]
    @Article{schmaelzle2017connectivity,
    author = {Schm{\"a}lzle, Ralf and Brook O'Donnell, Matthew and Garcia, Javier O. and Cascio, Christopher N.C. and Bayer, Joseph and Vettel, Jean, and Bassett, Danielle, and Falk, Emily B.},
    title = {Brain connectivity dynamics during social interaction reflect social network structure},
    journal = {Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences},
    year = {2017},
    volume = {114},
    number = {20},
    pages = {5153?5158},
    code = {https://github.com/nomcomm/BrainConnectivitySocialNetworkPNAS},
    abstract = {Social ties are crucial for humans. Disruption of ties through social exclusion has a marked effect on our thoughts and feelings; however, such effects can be tempered by broader social network resources. Here, we use functional magnetic resonance imaging data acquired from 80 male adolescents to investigate how social exclusion modulates functional connectivity within and across brain networks involved in social pain and understanding the mental states of others (i.e., mentalizing). Furthermore, using objectively logged friendship network data, we examine how individual variability in brain reactivity to social exclusion relates to the density of participants' friendship networks, an important aspect of social network structure. We find increased connectivity within a set of regions previously identified as a mentalizing system during exclusion relative to inclusion. These results are consistent across the regions of interest as well as a whole-brain analysis. Next, examining how social network characteristics are associated with task-based connectivity dynamics, participants who showed greater changes in connectivity within the mentalizing system when socially excluded by peers had less dense friendship networks. This work provides novel insight to understand how distributed brain systems respond to social and emotional challenges, and how such brain dynamics might vary based on broader social network characteristics.},
    doi = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1616130114},
    url = {http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2017/04/27/1616130114.abstract}
    }
  • [PDF] [DOI] Schmälzle, R., Imhof, M. A., Grall, C., Flaisch, T., & Schupp, H. T.. (2017). Reliability of fMRI time series: Similarity of neural processing during movie viewing. biorxiv.
    [Bibtex]
    @Article{schmaelzle2017fmrireliability,
    author = {Schm{\"a}lzle, Ralf and Imhof, Martin A and Grall, Clare and Flaisch, Tobias and Schupp, Harald T},
    title = {Reliability of fMRI time series: Similarity of neural processing during movie viewing},
    journal = {biorxiv},
    year = {2017},
    abstract = {Despite its widespread use in neuroscience, the reliability of fMRI remains insufficiently understood. One powerful way to tap into aspects of fMRI reliability is via the inter-subject correlation (ISC) approach, which exposes different viewers to the same time-locked naturalistic stimulus and assesses the similarity of neural time series. Here we examined the correlations of fMRI time series from 24 participants who watched the same movie clips across three repetitions. This enabled us to examine inter-subject correlations, intra-subject correlations, and correlations between aggregated time series, which we link to the notions of inter-rater reliability, stability, and consistency. In primary visual cortex we found average pairwise inter-subject correlations of about r = 0.3, and intra-subject correlations of similar magnitude. Aggregation across subjects increased inter-subject (inter-group) correlations to r = 0.87, and additional intra-subject averaging before cross-subject aggregation yielded correlations of r = 0.93. Computing the same analyses for parietal (visuospatial network) and cingulate cortices (saliency network) revealed a gradient of decreasing ISC from primary visual to higher visual to post-perceptual regions. These latter regions also benefitted most from the increased reliability due to aggregation. We discuss theoretical and practical implications of this link between neural process similarity and psychometric conceptions of inter-rater reliability, stability, and internal consistency.},
    doi = {10.1101/158188},
    url = {http://www.biorxiv.org/content/early/2017/06/30/158188}
    }

2016

  • [PDF] Schupp, H. T., Kirmse, U., Schmälzle, R., Flaisch, T., & Renner, B.. (2016). Newly-formed emotional memories guide selective attention processes: Evidence from event-related potentials.. Scientific reports, 6, 28091.
    [Bibtex]
    @Article{schupp2016newly,
    author = {Schupp, Harald T and Kirmse, Ursula and Schm{\"a}lzle, Ralf and Flaisch, Tobias and Renner, Britta},
    title = {Newly-formed emotional memories guide selective attention processes: Evidence from event-related potentials.},
    journal = {Scientific reports},
    year = {2016},
    volume = {6},
    pages = {28091},
    month = {Jun},
    __markedentry = {[Ralf:]},
    abstract = {Emotional cues can guide selective attention processes. However, emotional stimuli can both activate long-term memory representations reflecting general world knowledge and engage newly formed memory representations representing specific knowledge from the immediate past. Here, the self-completion feature of associative memory was utilized to assess the regulation of attention processes by newly-formed emotional memory. First, new memory representations were formed by presenting pictures depicting a person either in an erotic pose or as a portrait. Afterwards, to activate newly-built memory traces, edited pictures were presented showing only the head region of the person. ERP recordings revealed the emotional regulation of attention by newly-formed memories. Specifically, edited pictures from the erotic compared to the portrait category elicited an early posterior negativity and late positive potential, similar to the findings observed for the original pictures. A control condition showed that the effect was dependent on newly-formed memory traces. Given the large number of new memories formed each day, they presumably make an important contribution to the regulation of attention in everyday life.},
    address = {England},
    issn = {2045-2322 (Linking)}
    }

2015

  • [PDF] Schmälzle, R., Häcker, F., Honey Christopher J, & Hasson, U.. (2015). Engaged Listeners: Shared neural processing of powerful political speeches. Social, Cognitive, and Affective Neurosciences, 1, 168-169.
    [Bibtex]
    @Article{schmaelzle2015engaged,
    author = {Schm{\"a}lzle, Ralf and H{\"a}cker, Frank and Honey, Christopher J, and Hasson, U},
    title = {Engaged Listeners: Shared neural processing of powerful political speeches},
    journal = {Social, Cognitive, and Affective Neurosciences},
    year = {2015},
    volume = {1},
    pages = {168-169},
    abstract = {Powerful speeches can captivate audiences, while weaker speeches fail to engage their listeners. What is happening in the brains of a captivated audience? Here we assess audience-wide functional brain dynamics during listening to speeches of varying rhetorical quality. The speeches were given by German politicians and evaluated as rhetorically powerful or weak. Listening to each of the speeches induced similar neural response time courses, as measured by inter-subject correlation analysis, in widespread brain regions involved in spoken language processing. Crucially, alignment of the time course across listeners was stronger for rhetorically powerful speeches, especially for bilateral regions of the superior temporal gyri and medial prefrontal cortex. Thus, during powerful speeches, listeners as a group are more coupled to each other, suggesting that powerful speeches are more potent in taking control of the listeners' brain responses. Weaker speeches were processed more heterogeneously, although they still prompted substantially correlated responses. These patterns of coupled neural responses bear resemblance to metaphors of resonance, which are often invoked in discussions of speech impact, and contribute to the literature on auditory attention under natural circumstances. Overall, this approach opens up possibilities for research on the neural mechanisms mediating the reception of entertaining or persuasive messages.}
    }
  • [PDF] Renner, B., Gamp, M., Schmälzle, R., & Schupp, H. T.. (2015). Health Risk Perception. International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences, 10, 702-709.
    [Bibtex]
    @Article{renner2015healthrisk,
    author = {Renner, Britta and Gamp, Martina and Schm{\"a}lzle, Ralf and Schupp, Harald T},
    title = {Health Risk Perception},
    journal = {International Encyclopedia of the Social \& Behavioral Sciences},
    year = {2015},
    volume = {10},
    pages = {702-709},
    abstract = {Perceptions of health-related risks are a prerequisite for taking protective action, adopting a healthier lifestyle, attending health screenings, and adhering to medical care. It seems inherently plausible that the greater the perceived risk for one's own health is the greater the motivation for protective action. Accordingly, it is important to understand how people perceive health risks, how accurate these perceptions are, and how information about one's own health risk is received. The present chapter focuses on general and personal risk perceptions, discusses the role of intuition in personal risk perception, and presents findings regarding reactions to individualized feedback about risk.},
    booktitle = {International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences. 2nd edition},
    chapter = {Health risk perception},
    editor = {James D. Wright},
    publisher = {Oxford: Elsevier}
    }
  • [PDF] [DOI] Flaisch, T., Imhof, M., Schmälzle, R., Wentz, K., Ibach, B., & Schupp, H. T.. (2015). Implicit and Explicit Attention to Pictures and Words: An fMRI-Study of Concurrent Emotional Stimulus Processing. Frontiers in Psychology, 6(1), 1861.
    [Bibtex]
    @Article{flaisch2015implicit,
    author = {Flaisch, Tobias and Imhof, Martin and Schm{\"a}lzle, Ralf and Wentz, Klaus-Ulrich and Ibach, Bern and Schupp, Harald T},
    title = {Implicit and Explicit Attention to Pictures and Words: An fMRI-Study of Concurrent Emotional Stimulus Processing},
    journal = {Frontiers in Psychology},
    year = {2015},
    volume = {6},
    number = {1},
    pages = {1861},
    doi = {http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01861},
    owner = {Ralf},
    timestamp = {2015.05.19}
    }
  • [PDF] Becker, C., Schmälzle, R., Flaisch, T., & Schupp, H. T.. (2015). Thirst and the state-dependent representation of incentive stimulus value in human motive circuitry. Social, Cognitive, and Affective Neurosciences, 10(12), 1722-1729.
    [Bibtex]
    @Article{becker2015thirst,
    author = {Becker, Christoph and Schm{\"a}lzle, Ralf and Flaisch, Tobias and Schupp, Harald T},
    title = {Thirst and the state-dependent representation of incentive stimulus value in human motive circuitry},
    journal = {Social, Cognitive, and Affective Neurosciences},
    year = {2015},
    volume = {10},
    number = {12},
    pages = {1722-1729},
    abstract = {Depletion imposes both need and desire to drink, and potentiates the response to need-relevant cues in the environment. The present fMRI study aimed to determine which neural structures selectively increase the incentive value of need-relevant stimuli in a thirst state. Towards this end, participants were scanned twice - either in a thirst or no-thirst state - while viewing pictures of beverages and chairs. As expected, thirst led to a selective increase in self-reported pleasantness and arousal by beverages. Increased responses to beverage as compared to chair stimuli were observed in the cingulate cortex, insular cortex, and the amygdala in the thirst state, which were absent in the no-thirst condition. Enhancing the incentive value of need-relevant cues in a thirst state is a key mechanism for motivating drinking behavior. Overall, distributed regions of the motive circuitry, which are also implicated in salience processing, craving, and interoception, provide a dynamic body-state dependent representation of stimulus value.}
    }
  • [PDF] [DOI] Barth, A., Schmälzle, R., Hartung, F., Britta Renner, & Schupp, H. T.. (2015). How target and perceiver gender affect impressions of HIV risk. Frontiers in Public Health, section HIV and AIDS, 3(1), 223.
    [Bibtex]
    @Article{barth2015how,
    author = {Barth, A. and Schm{\"a}lzle, Ralf and Hartung, Freda-Marie and Britta Renner, and Schupp, Harald T},
    title = {How target and perceiver gender affect impressions of HIV risk},
    journal = {Frontiers in Public Health, section HIV and AIDS},
    year = {2015},
    volume = {3},
    number = {1},
    pages = {223},
    abstract = {Background: People do not use condoms consistently but instead rely on intuition to identify sexual partners high at risk for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. The present study examined gender differences of intuitive impressions about HIV risk.
    Methods: Male and female perceivers evaluated portraits of unacquainted male and female targets regarding their risk for HIV, trait characteristics (trust, responsibility, attractiveness, valence, arousal, and health), and willingness for interaction.
    Results: Male targets were perceived as more risky than female targets for both perceiver genders. Furthermore, male perceivers reported higher HIV risk perception for both male and female targets than female perceivers. Multiple regression indicated gender differences in the association between person characteristics and HIV risk. In male targets, only trustworthiness predicts HIV risk. In female targets, however, HIV risk is related to trustworthiness, attractiveness, health, valence (for male perceivers), and arousal (for female perceivers).
    Conclusion: The present findings characterize intuitive impressions of HIV risk and reveal differences according to both target and perceiver gender. Considering gender differences in intuitive judgments of HIV risk may help devise effective strategies by shifting the balance from feelings of risk toward a more rational mode of risk perception and the adoption of effective precautionary behaviors.},
    doi = {http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpubh.2015.00223},
    owner = {Ralf},
    timestamp = {2015.06.24}
    }

2014

  • [PDF] Schupp, H. T., Schmälzle, R., & Flaisch, T.. (2014). Explicit semantic stimulus categorization interferes with implicit emotion processing. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 9, 1738-1745.
    [Bibtex]
    @Article{schupp2014explicit,
    author = {Schupp, Harald T and Schm{\"a}lzle, Ralf and Flaisch, Tobias},
    title = {Explicit semantic stimulus categorization interferes with implicit emotion processing},
    journal = {Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience},
    year = {2014},
    volume = {9},
    pages = {1738--1745},
    abstract = {Previous fMRI- and ERP- studies revealed that performing a cognitive task may suppress the preferential processing of emotional stimuli. However, these studies utilized artificial tasks lacking meaningfulness, familiarity, and ecological validity. The present event-related potential study examined the emotion-attention interaction in the context of scene categorization by asking participants to indicate whether an image contained an animal or not. The task images were presented centrally and were overlaid upon emotional or neutral background pictures. In a control condition, participants passively viewed the same stimulus materials without the demand to categorize task images. Significant interactions between task condition and emotional picture valence were observed for the occipital negativity and late positive potential. In the passive viewing condition, emotional background images elicited an increased occipital negativity followed by an increased late positive potential. In contrast, during the animal-/non-animal-categorization task, emotional modulation effects were replaced by strong target categorization effects. These results suggest that explicit semantic categorization interferes with implicit emotion processing when both processes compete for shared resources.},
    publisher = {Oxford University Press}
    }
  • [PDF] Häcker, F., Schmälzle, R., Renner, B., & Schupp, H. T.. (2014). Neural correlates of HIV risk feelings. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, doi:10.1093/scan/nsu093(nsu093), 1-6.
    [Bibtex]
    @Article{haecker2014neural,
    author = {H{\"a}cker, Frank and Schm{\"a}lzle, Ralf and Renner, Britta and Schupp, Harald T},
    title = {Neural correlates of HIV risk feelings},
    journal = {Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience},
    year = {2014},
    volume = {doi:10.1093/scan/nsu093},
    number = {nsu093},
    pages = {1-6},
    abstract = {Field studies on HIV risk perception suggest that people rely on impressions they have about the safety of their partner. The present fMRI study investigated the neural correlates of the intuitive perception of risk. First, during an implicit condition, participants viewed a series of unacquainted persons and performed a task unrelated to HIV risk. In the following explicit condition, participants evaluated the HIV risk for each presented person. Contrasting responses for high and low HIV risk revealed that risky stimuli evoked enhanced activity in the anterior insula and medial prefrontal regions, which are involved in salience processing and frequently activated by threatening and negative affect-related stimuli. Importantly, neural regions responding to explicit HIV risk judgments were also enhanced in the implicit condition, suggesting a neural mechanism for intuitive impressions of riskiness. Overall, these findings suggest the saliency network as neural correlate for the intuitive sensing of risk.},
    publisher = {Oxford University Press}
    }

2013

  • [PDF] Schmälzle, R., Häcker, F., Renner, B., Honey, C. J., & Schupp, H. T.. (2013). Neural correlates of risk perception during real-life risk communication. The Journal of Neuroscience, 33(25), 10340-10347.
    [Bibtex]
    @Article{schmaelzle2013neural,
    author = {Schm{\"a}lzle, Ralf and H{\"a}cker, Frank and Renner, Britta and Honey, Christopher J and Schupp, Harald T},
    title = {Neural correlates of risk perception during real-life risk communication},
    journal = {The Journal of Neuroscience},
    year = {2013},
    volume = {33},
    number = {25},
    pages = {10340--10347},
    abstract = {During global health crises, such as the recent H1N1 pandemic, the mass media provide the public with timely information regarding risk. To obtain new insights into how these messages are received, we measured neural data while participants, who differed in their preexisting H1N1 risk perceptions, viewed a TV report about H1N1. Intersubject correlation (ISC) of neural time courses was used to assess how similarly the brains of viewers responded to the TV report. We found enhanced intersubject correlations among viewers with high-risk perception in the anterior cingulate, a region which classical fMRI studies associated with the appraisal of threatening information. By contrast, neural coupling in sensory-perceptual regions was similar for the high and low H1N1-risk perception groups. These results demonstrate a novel methodology for understanding how real-life health messages are processed in the human brain, with particular emphasis on the role of emotion and differences in risk perceptions.},
    key = {JoN},
    publisher = {Soc Neuroscience}
    }
  • [PDF] Barth, A., Schmälzle, R., Renner, B., & Schupp, H. T.. (2013). Neural correlates of risk perception: HIV vs. leukemia. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 7(1), 1.
    [Bibtex]
    @Article{barth2013neural,
    author = {Barth, Alexander and Schm{\"a}lzle, Ralf and Renner, Britta and Schupp, Harald T},
    title = {Neural correlates of risk perception: HIV vs. leukemia},
    journal = {Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience},
    year = {2013},
    volume = {7},
    number = {1},
    pages = {1},
    abstract = {Field studies on HIV risk perception suggest that people may rely on impressions they have about the safety of their partner. Previous studies show that individuals perceived as risky? regarding HIV elicit a differential brain response in both earlier (~200-350 ms) and later (~350-700 ms) time windows compared to those perceived as safe. This raises the question whether this event-related brain potential (ERP) response is specific to contagious life-threatening diseases or a general mechanism triggered by life-threatening but non-contagious diseases. In the present study, we recorded dense sensor EEG while participants (N = 36) evaluated photographs of unacquainted individuals for either HIV or leukemia risk. The ERP results replicated previous findings revealing earlier and later differential brain responses towards individuals perceived as high risk for HIV. However, there were no significant ERP differences for high vs. low leukemia risk. Rather than reflecting a generic response to disease, the present findings suggest that intuitive judgments of HIV risk are at least in part specific to sexually transmitted diseases.}
    }

2012

  • [PDF] Schupp, H. T., Schmälzle, R., Flaisch, T., Weike, A. I., & Hamm, A. O.. (2012). Affective picture processing as a function of preceding picture valence: An ERP analysis. Biological Psychology, 91(1), 81-87.
    [Bibtex]
    @Article{schupp2012affective,
    author = {Schupp, Harald T and Schm{\"a}lzle, Ralf and Flaisch, Tobias and Weike, Almut I and Hamm, Alfons O},
    title = {Affective picture processing as a function of preceding picture valence: An ERP analysis},
    journal = {Biological Psychology},
    year = {2012},
    volume = {91},
    number = {1},
    pages = {81-87},
    abstract = {Event-related brain potential (ERP) studies consistently revealed that a relatively early (early posterior negativity; EPN) and a late (late positive potential; LPP) ERP component differentiate between emotional and neutral picture stimuli. Two studies examined the processing of emotional stimuli when preceded either by pleasant, neutral, or unpleasant context images. In both studies, distinct streams of six pictures were shown. In Study 1, hedonic context was alternated randomly across the 180 picture streams. In Study 2, hedonic context sequences were blocked, resulting in 60 preceding sequences of pleasant, neutral, and unpleasant context valence, respectively. The main finding was that the valence of the preceding picture sequence had no significant effect on the emotional modulation of the EPN and LPP components. However, previous results were replicated in that emotional stimulus processing was associated with larger EPN and LPP components as compared to neutral pictures. These findings suggest that the prioritized processing of emotional stimuli is primarily driven by the valence of the current picture.},
    publisher = {Elsevier}
    }
  • [PDF] Schmälzle, R., Renner, B., & Schupp, H. T.. (2012). Neural correlates of perceived risk: the case of HIV. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 7(6), 667-676.
    [Bibtex]
    @Article{schmaelzle2012neural,
    author = {Schm{\"a}lzle, Ralf and Renner, Britta and Schupp, Harald T},
    title = {Neural correlates of perceived risk: the case of HIV},
    journal = {Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience},
    year = {2012},
    volume = {7},
    number = {6},
    pages = {667--676},
    abstract = {Research indicates that many people do not use condoms consistently but rather rely on illusory control strategies for avoiding an infection with HIV. Preliminary evidence suggests that people form impressions of a partner's HIV risk based on his or her physical appearance. To examine the neural correlates of such appearance-based HIV risk impressions, event-related potentials were recorded while participants viewed portraits of unacquainted persons. Participants' explicit HIV risk ratings for each of the presented unacquainted persons were used to form categories of low and high HIV risk persons. Results showed that risky, compared to safe persons elicited distinct event-related potential (ERP) modulations. Viewing risky persons was associated with an increased positivity over right frontal regions between 180 and 240 ms. This suggests that impressions related to HIV risk occur rapidly, presumably reflecting automatic person evaluations eluding introspection. In a time window between 450 and 600 ms, risky persons elicited an increased late positive potential. Consistent with previous findings reporting augmented late positive potentials (LPP) amplitudes to affectively significant stimuli, the results support the assumption that risky faces draw more attention resources. These findings are in accordance with the 'risk as feeling' notion.},
    publisher = {Oxford University Press}
    }
  • [PDF] Renner, B., Schmälzle, R., & Schupp, H. T.. (2012). First impressions of HIV risk: it takes only milliseconds to scan a stranger. PloS One, 7(1), e30460.
    [Bibtex]
    @Article{renner2012first,
    author = {Renner, Britta and Schm{\"a}lzle, Ralf and Schupp, Harald T},
    title = {First impressions of HIV risk: it takes only milliseconds to scan a stranger},
    journal = {PloS One},
    year = {2012},
    volume = {7},
    number = {1},
    pages = {e30460},
    abstract = {Research indicates that many people do not use condoms consistently but instead rely on intuition to identify sexual partners high at risk for HIV infection. The present studies examined neural correlates for first impressions of HIV risk and determined the association of perceived HIV risk with other trait characteristics. Participants were presented with 120 self-portraits retrieved from a popular online photo-sharing community (www.flickr.com). Factor analysis of various explicit ratings of trait characteristics yielded two orthogonal factors: (1) a 'valence-approach' factor encompassing perceived attractiveness, healthiness, valence, and approach tendencies, and (2) a 'safeness' factor, entailing judgments of HIV risk, trustworthiness, and responsibility. These findings suggest that HIV risk ratings systematically relate to cardinal features of a high-risk HIV stereotype. Furthermore, event-related brain potential recordings revealed neural correlates of first impressions about HIV risk. Target persons perceived as risky elicited a differential brain response in a time window from 220-340 ms and an increased late positive potential in a time window from 350-700 ms compared to those perceived as safe. These data suggest that impressions about HIV risk can be formed in a split second and despite a lack of information about the actual risk profile. Findings of neural correlates of risk impressions and their relationship to key features of the HIV risk stereotype are discussed in the context of the 'risk as feelings' theory.},
    publisher = {Public Library of Science}
    }

2011

  • [PDF] Schmälzle, R., Schupp, H. T., Barth, A., & Renner, B.. (2011). Implicit and explicit processes in risk perception: neural antecedents of perceived HIV risk. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 5(1), 1.
    [Bibtex]
    @Article{schmaelzle2011implicit,
    author = {Schm{\"a}lzle, Ralf and Schupp, Harald T and Barth, Alexander and Renner, Britta},
    title = {Implicit and explicit processes in risk perception: neural antecedents of perceived HIV risk},
    journal = {Frontiers in Human Neuroscience},
    year = {2011},
    volume = {5},
    number = {1},
    pages = {1},
    abstract = {Field studies on HIV risk suggest that people may rely on impressions they have about the safety of their partner at the dispense of more objective risk protection strategies. In this study, ERP recordings were used to investigate the brain mechanisms that give rise to such impressions. First, in an implicit condition, participants viewed a series of photographs of unacquainted persons while performing a task that did not mention HIV risk. Second, in an explicit condition, participants estimated the HIV risk for each presented person. Dense sensor EEG was recorded during the implicit and explicit conditions. In the analysis, explicit risk ratings were used to categorize ERP data from the implicit and explicit conditions into low and high HIV risk categories. The results reveal implicit ERP differences on the basis of subsequent ratings of HIV risk. Specifically, the processing of risky individuals was associated with an early occipital negativity (240-300 ms) and a subsequent central positivity between 430 and 530 ms compared to safe. A similar ERP modulation emerged in the explicit condition for the central positivity component between 430 and 530 ms. A subsequent late positive potential component between 550 and 800 ms was specifically enhanced for risky persons in the explicit rating condition while not modulated in the implicit condition. Furthermore, ratings of HIV risk correlated substantially with ratings of trustworthiness and responsibility. Taken together, these observations provide evidence for theories of intuitive risk perception, which, in the case of HIV risk, seem to operate via appearance-based stereotypic inferences.},
    publisher = {Frontiers Media SA}
    }

2010

  • [PDF] Bublatzky, F., Flaisch, T., Stockburger, J., Schmälzle, R., & Schupp, H. T.. (2010). The interaction of anticipatory anxiety and emotional picture processing: An event-related brain potential study. Psychophysiology, 47(4), 687-696.
    [Bibtex]
    @Article{bublatzky2010interaction,
    author = {Bublatzky, Florian and Flaisch, Tobias and Stockburger, Jessica and Schm{\"a}lzle, Ralf and Schupp, Harald T},
    title = {The interaction of anticipatory anxiety and emotional picture processing: An event-related brain potential study},
    journal = {Psychophysiology},
    year = {2010},
    volume = {47},
    number = {4},
    pages = {687--696},
    abstract = {The present study examined the interaction of anticipatory anxiety and selective emotion processing. Toward this end, a rapid stream of pleasant, neutral, and unpleasant pictures was presented in alternating blocks of threat-of-shock or safety, which were signaled by colored picture frames. The main finding is that pleasant pictures elicited a sustained negative difference potential over occipital regions during threat as compared to safety periods. In contrast, unpleasant and neutral picture processing did not vary as a function of threat-of-shock. Furthermore, in both the safety and threat-of-shock conditions, emotional pictures elicited an enlarged early posterior negativity and late positive potential. These data show that the activation of the fear/anxiety network exerts valence-specific effects on affective picture processing. Pleasant stimuli mismatching the current state of anticipatory anxiety apparently draw more attentional resources.},
    publisher = {Wiley Online Library}
    }

2009

  • [PDF] Stockburger, J., Schmälzle, R., Flaisch, T., Bublatzky, F., & Schupp, H. T.. (2009). The impact of hunger on food cue processing: an event-related brain potential study. Neuroimage, 47(4), 1819-1829.
    [Bibtex]
    @Article{stockburger2009impact,
    author = {Stockburger, Jessica and Schm{\"a}lzle, Ralf and Flaisch, Tobias and Bublatzky, Florian and Schupp, Harald T},
    title = {The impact of hunger on food cue processing: an event-related brain potential study},
    journal = {Neuroimage},
    year = {2009},
    volume = {47},
    number = {4},
    pages = {1819--1829},
    abstract = {The present study used event-related brain potentials to examine deprivation effects on visual attention to food stimuli at the level of distinct processing stages. Thirty-two healthy volunteers (16 females) were tested twice 1 week apart, either after 24 h of food deprivation or after normal food intake. Participants viewed a continuous stream of food and flower images while dense sensor ERPs were recorded. As revealed by distinct ERP modulations in relatively earlier and later time windows, deprivation affected the processing of food and flower pictures. Between 300 and 360 ms, food pictures were associated with enlarged occipito-temporal negativity and centro-parietal positivity in deprived compared to satiated state. Of main interest, in a later time window (450-600 ms), deprivation increased amplitudes of the late positive potential elicited by food pictures. Conversely, flower processing varied by motivational state with decreased positive potentials in the deprived state. Minimum-Norm analyses provided further evidence that deprivation enhanced visual attention to food cues in later processing stages. From the perspective of motivated attention, hunger may induce a heightened state of attention for food stimuli in a processing stage related to stimulus recognition and focused attention.},
    publisher = {Academic Press}
    }
  • Schmälzle, R.. (2009). Intuitive risk perception: A neuroscientific approach. PhD thesis, -, -.
    [Bibtex]
    @Article{schmaelzle2009intuitive,
    author = {Schm{\"a}lzle, Ralf},
    title = {Intuitive risk perception: A neuroscientific approach},
    journal = {PhD thesis},
    year = {2009},
    volume = {-},
    pages = {-},
    abstract = {Recent theoretical models of risk perception emphasize the role of intuitive and affective processes. Empirical evidence, however, remains scarce. In the present dissertation event-related brain potentials (ERP) are used as a sensitive tool to shed light on the role of intuition in health risk perception. Three studies are presented in which participants viewed pictures of unknown persons in the context of a HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) risk perception paradigm while ERPs were recorded. This strategy enabled the demonstration of key processing characteristics of intuition: speed, affective evaluation, and implicitness. In the first study, participants judged the HIV risk of 120 persons based on facial appearance. Results showed enlarged positive brain potentials for risky faces in a time window from 350 - 650 ms. The second study added important evidence by showing that these results are not confined to facial stimuli. Using naturalistic photographs of real persons that resemble real life encounters and pictures used on internet dating platforms, it was established that risky persons prompt larger LPPs (late positive potentials), starting after approximately 300 ms. Based on the results of these two studies it is concluded that HIV risk of unknown persons is assessed intuitively. Discriminating among risky and safe stimuli in a split second provides strong evidence for intuitive processing regarding the key characteristic of speed. Furthermore, both studies provided supportive evidence for affective evaluation, another hallmark feature of intuitive processing. Risky stimuli were associated with enlarged LPPs, a component known to be sensitive to the intrinsic affective relevance of stimuli. The third study incorporated an implicit condition, allowing risk-related processing differences to be assessed in the absence of external task demands pertaining to HIV risk judgment. By showing that ERPs from the implicit condition - obtained during a quick glimpse and with no intention to evaluate risk - are related to later reports of HIV risk, these results provide strong evidence for the intuitive and incidental character of risk perception, another key feature of intuition. Moreover, ERP results from a subsequent explicit condition replicated previous findings, providing additional evidence for the intuitive features of speed and affective evaluation.Considering previous findings in affective neuroscience, it is proposed that persons judged as risky already attain a higher saliency early on during information processing and guide selective attention processes. These findings have implications for theoretical models of health risk perception and point to intuitive influences in everyday health risk perception.},
    address = {University of Konstanz},
    school = {Department of Psychology, University of Konstanz, Germany},
    type = {Doctoral Dissertation}
    }

2008

  • [PDF] Schupp, H. T., Stockburger, J., Schmälzle, R., Bublatzky, F., Weike, A. I., & Hamm, A. O.. (2008). Visual noise effects on emotion perception: brain potentials and stimulus identification. Neuroreport, 19(2), 167-171.
    [Bibtex]
    @Article{schupp2008visual,
    author = {Schupp, Harald T and Stockburger, Jessica and Schm{\"a}lzle, Ralf and Bublatzky, Florian and Weike, Almut I and Hamm, Alfons O},
    title = {Visual noise effects on emotion perception: brain potentials and stimulus identification},
    journal = {Neuroreport},
    year = {2008},
    volume = {19},
    number = {2},
    pages = {167--171},
    abstract = {Event-related potential (ERP) studies revealed an early posterior negativity (EPN) for emotionally arousing pictures. Two studies explored how this effect relates to perceptual stimulus characteristics and stimulus identification. Adding various amounts of visual noise varied stimulus perceptibility of high and low arousing picture contents, which were presented as rapid and continuous stream. Measuring dense sensor event-related potentials, study I determined that noise level was linearly related to the P1 peak. Subsequently, enlarged EPNs to emotionally arousing contents were observed, however, only for pictures containing low amounts of noise, which also enabled stimulus identification as shown by study II. These data support the notion that the EPN may serve as a measure of affective stimulus evaluation at an early transitory processing period.},
    publisher = {LWW}
    }
  • Renner, B., Schupp, H. T., & Schmälzle, R.. (2008). Risikowahrnehmung und Risikokommunikation. Handbuch ü Gesundheitspsychologie und Medizinische Psychologie, 16(3), 113-121.
    [Bibtex]
    @Article{renner2009risikowahrnehmung,
    author = {Renner, Britta and Schupp, Harald T and Schm{\"a}lzle, Ralf},
    title = {Risikowahrnehmung und Risikokommunikation},
    journal = {Handbuch {\"u} Gesundheitspsychologie und Medizinische Psychologie},
    year = {2008},
    volume = {16},
    number = {3},
    pages = {113--121},
    abstract = {n.a.},
    publisher = {Goettingen: Hogrefe}
    }
  • [PDF] Renner, B., Schupp, H., Vollmann, M., Hartung, F., Schmälzle, R., & Panzer, M.. (2008). Risk perception, risk communication and health behavior change. Zeitschrift für Gesundheitspsychologie, 16(3), 150-153.
    [Bibtex]
    @Article{renner2008risk,
    author = {Renner, Britta and Schupp, Harald and Vollmann, Manja and Hartung, Freda-Marie and Schm{\"a}lzle, Ralf and Panzer, Martina},
    title = {Risk perception, risk communication and health behavior change},
    journal = {Zeitschrift f{\"u}r Gesundheitspsychologie},
    year = {2008},
    volume = {16},
    number = {3},
    pages = {150--153},
    abstract = {At a broad level, the Konstanz Health Psychology research group aims at understanding the judgment and decision making processes underlying health-relevant behaviors. Towards this goal, several more specific research agendas are addressed. A primary aim is to understand the transition from knowing about risks to personally feeling at risk. In particular, we study the reception of relevant personalised health feedback such as feedback on cholesterol levels or blood pressure. Contrary to the dominant models of biased reasoning, our results on feedback reception suggest that people respond adaptively to health risk feedback. Furthermore, we study changes in the perception of health risk across time and their associated effects on the onset, maintenance, and cessation of health-relevant behaviors. In current research, we try to utilize methods from affective neuroscience for assessing affective and intuitive processes relevant to personal feelings of risk. These efforts are motivated by the broader goal of developing theoretical frameworks that can be applied across a range of behavioral domains.},
    publisher = {Hogrefe \& Huber}
    }

2005

  • Schmälzle, R.. (2005). Effekte von Nahrungsdeprivation auf die Verarbeitung visueller Reize: eine ERP-Studie. Diploma thesis.
    [Bibtex]
    @Article{schmaelzle2005effekte,
    author = {Schm{\"a}lzle, Ralf},
    title = {Effekte von Nahrungsdeprivation auf die Verarbeitung visueller Reize: eine ERP-Studie},
    journal = {Diploma thesis},
    year = {2005},
    volume = {0},
    number = {0},
    pages = {0},
    abstract = {Ziel dieser ERPStudie war die Untersuchung motivationaler Einfluesse auf die fruehe visuelle Verarbeitung. In einem Versuchsdesign mit Messwiederholung erschienen 32 Versuchspersonen zweimal zur EEG Messung, einmal hungrig und einmal satt. Hunger wurde operationalisiert als 24stuendige Nahrungsdeprivation. Mit einem 256 Kanal EEG wurden ereigniskorrelierte Potentiale abgeleitet waehrend die Versuchspersonen Bilder von Essen und Blumen betrachteten, die mit einer Darbietungsgeschwindigkeit von 660 ms praesentiert wurden. Aufbauend auf Ueberlegungen zur Theorie der motivierten Aufmerksamkeit wurde eine selektive Aufmerksamkeitslenkung auf motivational relevante Nahrungsreize im Hungerzustand erwartet. Diese sollte sich in ERPKomponenten zeigen, von denen aus der Emotionsforschung bekannt ist, dass sie mit selektiven Aufmerksamkeitsprozessen in Verbindung stehen. Fuer die Blumenbilder, die den Status einer neutralen Vergleichskategorie hatten, wurde keine von der Nahrungsdeprivation abhaengige Aufmerksamkeitslenkung erwartet. In einem weiteren Versuchsteil wurden emotionale Bilder dargeboten, um die Abhaengigkeit der bei der emotionalen Bildbetrachtung etablierten Effekte vom Deprivationszustand ueberpruefen zu koennen. Wie erwartet zeigten sich in den ereigniskorrelierten Potentialen auf emotionale Bilder bei beiden Messterminen eine fruehe posteriore Negativierung sowie eine spaete zentrale Positivierung. Beide Masse korrelierten zwischen beiden Messungen ueberaus hoch miteinander. Die Effekte selektiver Verarbeitung von motivational relevanten Reizen fielen insgesamt schwaecher aus als die aus der Emotionsforschung bekannten Effekte. In einer explorativen Analyse wird ein selektiver Prozess untersucht, der in Form von verstaerkten Positivierungen auf Nahrungsbilder im Hungerzustand bilateral ueber parietookzipitalen Arealen zu beobachten war. Die Befunde werden in Bezug zur Theorie der motivierten Aufmerksamkeit interpretiert und vor einem evolutionspsychologischen Hintergrund diskutiert.},
    school = {Department of Psychology, University of Konstanz, Germany}
    }