Publications

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Sneak Peek 1

Do you think we could have predicted from your brain activity whether you’d open this field? Indeed, this is increasingly possible and the lab in which I did a PostDoc is known for advancing this ‘brain-as-predictor’ approach (read more e.g. here). I am currently working on combining inter-subject correlation and related neuroimaging methods with this approach.

The following video illustrates the audience-wide brain response to a health prevention message from a recent BzGA-campaign on risky drinking (the BzGA is roughly the German equivalent of the CDC). What you can see is that the message evokes similar spatio-temporal brain activity patterns (the left and right brain represent group averages of fMRI activity from ca. 10 viewers).

Our results suggest that this approach can be used to derive markers of communication success. In other words, if the message had not been received by the brains of individual audience members, then they would not exhibit these similar spatiotemporal responses and instead idle along at their own pace. However, the fact that the message aligns the brains of multiple recipients in a similar fashion demonstrates that it must have arrived in their brains. My lab at MSU connects these shared audience responses to what I call micro-level media effects,  and to campaign success at larger scales.

Representative publications to date include:

  • [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] [DOI] Schmälzle, R., & Grall, C.. (2020). Mediated messages and synchronized brains. In. Floyd & Weber: Handbook of Communication Science and Biology, 109-122.
    [Bibtex]
    @Article{schmaelzle2020iscreview,
    author = {Schm{\"a}lzle, Ralf and Grall, Clare},
    title = {Mediated messages and synchronized brains},
    journal = {In. Floyd \& Weber: Handbook of Communication Science and Biology},
    year = {2020},
    pages = {109-122},
    abstract = {When a mediated message is processed by different recipients, it prompts similar responses in separate brains. These hidden, but collectively shared brain responses can be exposed by computing cross-recipient correlations of brain activity time series, called inter-subject correlation (ISC) analysis. Here we provide an overview of this approach, review its findings to date, and discuss why it is highly relevant for communication science.},
    doi = {https://doi.org/10.4324/9781351235587},
    editor = {todo}
    }
  • [PDF] [DOI] [CODE] Schmälzle, R., & Grall, C.. (2020). The coupled brains of captivated audiences: An investigation of the collective brain dynamics of an audience watching a suspenseful film. Journal of Media Psychology, 1-13 [Shared frist authorship].
    [Bibtex]
    @Article{schmaelzlegrall2020coupled,
    code = {https://github.com/nomcomm/CamCanSuspenseISC_JMP},
    author = {Schm{\"a}lzle, Ralf and Grall, Clare},
    journal = {Journal of Media Psychology},
    title = {The coupled brains of captivated audiences: An investigation of the collective brain dynamics of an audience watching a suspenseful film},
    year = {2020},
    pages = {1-13 [Shared frist authorship]},
    abstract = {Suspense not only creates a strong psychological tension within individuals, but it does so reliably across viewers who become collectively engaged with the story. Despite its prevalence in media psychology, limited work has examined suspense from a media neuroscience perspective, and thus the biological underpinnings of suspense remain unknown. Here we examine continuous brain responses of 494 viewers watching a suspenseful movie. To create a time-resolved measure of the degree to which a movie aligns audience-wide brain responses, we computed dynamic inter-subject correlations of fMRI time series among all viewers using sliding-window analysis. In parallel, we captured in-the-moment reports of suspense in an independent sample via continuous response measurement (CRM). We find that dynamic ISC over the course of the movie tracks well with the reported suspense in the CRM sample, particularly in regions associated with emotional salience and higher cognitive processes. These results are compatible with theoretical views on motivated attention and psychological tension. The finding that fMRI-based audience response measurement relates to audience reports of suspense creates new opportunities for research on the mechanisms of suspense and other entertainment phenomena and has applied potential for measuring audience responses in a nonreactive and objective fashion.},
    doi = {https://doi.org/todo},
    editor = {todo},
    }
  • [PDF] [DOI] [CODE] Schmälzle, R., Wilcox, S., & Jahn, N. T.. (2022). Identifying moments of peak audience engagement from brain responses during story listening. Communication Monographs, 89(4), 515-538.
    [Bibtex]
    @Article{schmaelzle2022pieman,
    code = {https://github.com/nomcomm/narratives_pieman},
    author = {Schm{\"a}lzle, Ralf and Wilcox, Shelby and Jahn, Nolan T},
    journal = {Communication Monographs},
    title = {Identifying moments of peak audience engagement from brain responses during story listening},
    year = {2022},
    number = {4},
    pages = {515-538},
    volume = {89},
    abstract = {Stories in general and peak moments with a single story in particular can evoke strong responses across recipients. Between the content of a story and these shared audience responses lies an explanatory gap that neuroimaging can help close. Accordingly, this study examines how the brains of an audience respond during a story. We perform two types of analyses: First, we correlate the story's physical characteristics to brain activity. Second, we reverse-correlate moments of peak brain engagement to story segments. We find that activity peaks in the temporo-parietal junction identify socially engaging points within the story, such as a pie-in-the-face scene, hyperbole, and sexual references. We discuss how these results and reverse correlation neuroimaging more broadly advance communication science.},
    doi = {https://doi.org/10.1080/03637751.2022.2032229},
    }
  • [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, 12(7), 1188-1196 [Shared first authorship].
    [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},
    volume = {12},
    number = {7},
    pages = {1188-1196 [Shared first authorship]},
    month = {Apr},
    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}
    }
  • [PDF] [DOI] [CODE] Imhof, M. A., Schmälzle, R., Renner, B., & Schupp, H. T.. (2020). Strong health messages increase audience brain coupling. NeuroImage, 216, 116527.
    [Bibtex]
    @Article{imhof2020eegisc,
    author = {Imhof, Martin A and Schm{\"a}lzle, Ralf and Renner, Britta and Schupp, Harald T},
    title = {Strong health messages increase audience brain coupling},
    journal = {NeuroImage},
    year = {2020},
    volume = {216},
    pages = {116527},
    code = {https://osf.io/9mc8b/},
    abstract = {Mass media messaging is central for health communication. The success of these efforts, however, depends on whether health messages resonate with their target audiences. Here, we used electroencephalography (EEG) to capture brain responses of young adults - an important target group for alcohol prevention - while they viewed real-life video messages of varying perceived message effectiveness about risky alcohol use. We found that strong messages, which were rated to be more effective, prompted enhanced inter-subject correlation (ISC). In further analyses, we linked ISC to subsequent drinking behavior change and used time-resolved EEG-ISC to model functional neuroimaging data (fMRI) of an independent audience. The EEG measure was not only related to sensory-perceptual brain regions, but also to regions previously related to successful messaging, i.e., cortical midline regions and the insula. The findings suggest EEG-ISC as a marker for audience engagement and effectiveness of naturalistic health messages, which could quantify the impact of mass communication within the brains of small target audiences.},
    doi = {https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2020.116527},
    publisher = {Routledge}
    }

Sneak Peek 2

Virtual Reality (VR) is going to change the way we communicate and interact. In the CARISMAlab (Center for Avatar Research and Immersive Social Media Applications), we use advanced laboratory technologies of today to simulate and study the transformtive impact of the communication technologies of tomorrow.

For example, one recent line of research uses VR-integrated eye-tracking technology to rigorously study the nexus between exposure to messages, reception mechanisms, and message effects. This is important because previous research and theorizing about exposure largely relied on macro-level approaches (e.g. audience ratings for TV, radio, or other channels). However, macro-level data cannot ascertain whether a given individual actually attends to a message. Micro-level approaches, on the other hand, had limited ecological validity and largely relied on laboratory paradigms in which participants were forced to watch messages. Our “VR Billboard Paradigm” simulates a drive down a highway along which billboards are placed. VR establishes a realistic communication context and people are free to decide for themselves whether to look at a given message. Using eye-tracking, we then measure whether this happens. We show that this explains and predicts message effects, such as whether a message will be remembered or forgotten. Obviously, this paradigm is applicable far beyond highway billboards and we are currently expanding the scope of this approach to other communication contexts.

Representative publications to date include:

  • [PDF] [DOI] [CODE] Bente, G., Schmälzle, R., Jahn, N., & Schaaf, A.. (2023). Measuring the effects of co-location on emotion perception in shared virtual environments: An ecological perspective. Frontiers in Virtual Reality, 9, 449.
    [Bibtex]
    @Article{bente2023emotionrecognition,
    author = {Bente, Gary and Schm{\"a}lzle, Ralf and Jahn, Nolan and Schaaf, Andrea},
    journal = {Frontiers in Virtual Reality},
    title = {Measuring the effects of co-location on emotion perception in shared virtual environments: An ecological perspective},
    year = {2023},
    pages = {449},
    volume = {9},
    abstract = {Inferring emotions from others' non-verbal behavior is a pervasive and fundamental task in social interactions. Typically, real-life encounters imply the co-location of interactants, i.e., their embodiment within a shared spatial-temporal continuum in which the trajectories of the interaction partner's Expressive Body Movement (EBM) create mutual social affordances. Shared Virtual Environments (SVEs) and Virtual Characters (VCs) are increasingly used to study social perception, allowing to reconcile experimental stimulus control with ecological validity. However, it remains unclear whether display modalities that enable co-presence have an impact on observers responses to VCs' expressive behaviors. Drawing upon ecological approaches to social perception, we reasoned that sharing the space with a VC should amplify affordances as compared to a screen display, and consequently alter observers' perceptions of EBM in terms of judgment certainty, hit rates, perceived expressive qualities (arousal and valence), and resulting approach and avoidance tendencies. In a between-subject design, we compared the perception of 54 10-s animations of VCs performing three daily activities (painting, mopping, sanding) in three emotional states (angry, happy, sad)?either displayed in 3D as a co-located VC moving in shared space, or as a 2D replay on a screen that was also placed in the SVEs. Results confirm the effective experimental control of the variable of interest, showing that perceived co-presence was significantly affected by the display modality, while perceived realism and immersion showed no difference. Spatial presence and social presence showed marginal effects. Results suggest that the display modality had a minimal effect on emotion perception. A weak effect was found for the expression 'happy,' for which unbiased hit rates were higher in the 3D condition. Importantly, low hit rates were observed for all three emotion categories. However, observers judgments significantly correlated for category assignment and across all rating dimensions, indicating universal decoding principles. While category assignment was erroneous, though, ratings of valence and arousal were consistent with expectations derived from emotion theory. The study demonstrates the value of animated VCs in emotion perception studies and raises new questions regarding the validity of category-based emotion recognition measures.},
    code = {https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33501109/},
    doi = {https://doi.org/10.1057/s41599-022-01461-5},
    }

Sneak Peek 3

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has enormous implications for communication because it allows generating messages at scale and in a fully automated fashion. We recognized this potential of AI early on and * .

* the text above is generated by an AI language model and thus may contain inaccuracies and hallucinations

Representative publications to date include:

  • [PDF] [DOI] [CODE] Schmälzle, R., & Wilcox, S.. (2022). Harnessing artificial intelligence for health message generation: The folic acid message engine. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 22(1), e28858.
    [Bibtex]
    @Article{schmaelzle2022messageengine,
    code = {https://github.com/nomcomm/MessageEngine},
    author = {Schm{\"a}lzle, Ralf and Wilcox, Shelby},
    journal = {Journal of Medical Internet Research},
    title = {Harnessing artificial intelligence for health message generation: The folic acid message engine},
    year = {2022},
    number = {1},
    pages = {e28858},
    volume = {22},
    abstract = {Background: Communication campaigns utilizing social media can raise public awareness, but they are difficult to sustain. One barrier is the need to constantly generate and post novel, yet on-topic messages, which creates a resource-intensive bottleneck.
    Objective: Here, we harness the latest advances in artificial intelligence (AI) to build a system that can generate a large number of candidate messages, which could be used for a campaign. The topic of folic acid, a B-vitamin that helps prevent major birth defects, serves as an example, but the system can work with other topics as well.
    Methods: We used the Generative-Pre-trained-Transformer-2 (GPT2) architecture, a machine learning model trained on a large natural language corpus, and fine tuned it using a dataset of auto-downloaded tweets about #folicacid. The fine tuned model was then used as a message engine, that is to create new messages about this topic. We carried out an online study to gauge how human raters evaluate the AI-generated tweet messages compared to original, human-crafted messages.
    Results: We find that the Folic Acid Message Engine can easily create several hundreds of new messages that appear natural to humans. Online raters evaluated the clarity and quality of a selected sample AI-generated tweets as on par with human-generated ones. Overall, these results show that it is feasible to use such a message engine to suggest messages for online campaigns.
    Conclusions: The message engine can serve as a starting point for more sophisticated AI-guided message creation systems for health communication. Beyond the practical potential of such systems for campaigns in the age of social media, they also hold great scientific potential for quantitative analysis of message characteristics that promote successful communication. We discuss future developments and obvious ethical challenges that need to be addressed as AI technologies for health persuasion enter the stage.},
    doi = {http://dx.doi.org/10.2196/28858},
    }
  • [PDF] [DOI] [CODE] Lim, S., & Schmälzle, R.. (2022). Artificial intelligence for health message generation: An empirical study using a large language model (LLM) and prompt engineering. arXiv, 2212.07507.
    [Bibtex]
    @Article{lim2022promptengineering,
    code = {https://github.com/nomcomm/message_engine2},
    author = {Lim, Sue and Schm{\"a}lzle, Ralf},
    journal = {arXiv},
    title = {Artificial intelligence for health message generation: An empirical study using a large language model (LLM) and prompt engineering},
    year = {2022},
    pages = {2212.07507},
    abstract = {This study introduces and examines the potential of an AI system to generate health awareness messages. The topic of folic acid, a vitamin that is critical during pregnancy, served as a test case. Using prompt engineering, we generated messages that could be used to raise awareness and compared them to retweeted human-generated messages via computational and human evaluation methods. The system was easy to use and prolific, and computational analyses revealed that the AI-generated messages were on par with human-generated ones in terms of sentiment, reading ease, and semantic content. Also, the human evaluation study showed that AI-generated messages ranked higher in message quality and clarity. We discuss the theoretical, practical, and ethical implications of these results.},
    doi = {https://doi.org/10.48550/arXiv.2212.07507},
    }
  • [DOI] [CODE] Lim, S., & Schmälzle, R.. (2024/in press). Exploring the mechanisms of AI message generation: A chatbot development activity for students. Communication Teacher.
    [Bibtex]
    @Article{Lim2023teacher,
    author = {Lim, Sue and Schm{\"a}lzle, Ralf},
    journal = {Communication Teacher},
    title = {Exploring the mechanisms of AI message generation: A chatbot development activity for students},
    year = {2024/in press},
    abstract = {Original Teaching Activity (OTI):
    Objectives: Students gain an understanding of the mechanisms underlying AI-based large language models (LLMs), such as the popular ChatGPT. They learn about word embeddings, neural networks, prompting for message generation, and reinforcement learning. Then, students apply what they have learned by building and improving a chatbot to become an expert on a health topic.},
    code = {https://github.com/nomcomm/communicaton_teacher_nlg},
    doi = {https://doi.org/10.1080/17404622.2023.2269258},
    }


2024/in press

  • [DOI] Schmälzle, R., Wilcox, S., & Huskey, R.. (2024/in press). Brain imaging as a window into the biological basis of social cognition and communication. In. T. Reimer and L. van Swol, Lyn and A. Florack (Eds.). Handbook of Communication and Social Cognition.
    [Bibtex]
    @Article{schmaelzle2023socialcognition,
    author = {Schm{\"a}lzle, Ralf and Wilcox, Shelby and Huskey, Richard},
    journal = {In. T. Reimer and L. van Swol, Lyn and A. Florack (Eds.). Handbook of Communication and Social Cognition},
    title = {Brain imaging as a window into the biological basis of social cognition and communication},
    year = {2024/in press},
    abstract = {Brain imaging refers to methods that produce images of the structure and function of the brain. These methods have yielded deep insights into the neural basis of social cognition and communication. This chapter covers brain imaging methods and their application in social cognition research, ending with future communication research prospects.},
    doi = {todo},
    }
  • [DOI] [CODE] Lim, S., & Schmälzle, R.. (2024/in press). Exploring the mechanisms of AI message generation: A chatbot development activity for students. Communication Teacher.
    [Bibtex]
    @Article{Lim2023teacher,
    author = {Lim, Sue and Schm{\"a}lzle, Ralf},
    journal = {Communication Teacher},
    title = {Exploring the mechanisms of AI message generation: A chatbot development activity for students},
    year = {2024/in press},
    abstract = {Original Teaching Activity (OTI):
    Objectives: Students gain an understanding of the mechanisms underlying AI-based large language models (LLMs), such as the popular ChatGPT. They learn about word embeddings, neural networks, prompting for message generation, and reinforcement learning. Then, students apply what they have learned by building and improving a chatbot to become an expert on a health topic.},
    code = {https://github.com/nomcomm/communicaton_teacher_nlg},
    doi = {https://doi.org/10.1080/17404622.2023.2269258},
    }
  • [DOI] [CODE] Schmälzle, R., Lim, S., Bezbaruah, S., Wu, J., & Hussain, S. A.. (2024/in press). Converging crowds and tied twins: Audience brain responses to the same movie are consistent across continents and enhanced among twins.. Journal of Media Psychology.
    [Bibtex]
    @Article{schmaelzle2024partlytwins,
    author = {Schm{\"a}lzle, Ralf and Lim, Sue and Bezbaruah, Subhalakshmi and Wu, Juncheng and Hussain, Syed Ali},
    journal = {Journal of Media Psychology},
    title = {Converging crowds and tied twins: Audience brain responses to the same movie are consistent across continents and enhanced among twins.},
    year = {2024/in press},
    abstract = {When members of an audience process the same messages, such as a movie, they respond similarly. Recent work using neuroimaging has shown that brain responses to a movie are remarkably similar across people who are watching the movie. These similar brain responses emerge because the movie recruits brain systems involved in sensory processing (e.g., responding to the flickering lights on screen), perceptual processes (e.g., identifying the characters' faces), and social-cognitive processes (e.g., following and understanding the story, social, and affective responses) - separately in each individual brain, but collectively across the entire audience. What has not been studied, however, is whether the brains of identical twins, who maximize inter-subjective similarity due to shared genetic and environmental factors, would respond in a more twin-like fashion at the neural level, exhibiting more similar responses during movie viewing compared to non-twins. To address this question, we analyzed functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data from a sample of 200 identical twins who watched a popular and socially engaging short film: Pixar's Partly Cloudy. We find that twin-pairs exhibit more strongly aligned brain responses compared to non-twin participants. Both, twin-pairs as well as non-twin-pairs, responded very similarly with shared responses to the movie. Additionally, the shared responses measured in the current study were highly correlated with shared brain responses from a previous sample watching the same movie. These results support our prediction that pre-existing similarities among twin-pairs lead to higher brain-to-brain coupling during movie reception. Together with research from clinical and developmental samples watching social movies, these results underscore the potential of using media to engage social-cognitive processes and examine their live operations in the human brain via neurocognitive methods. Moreover, they suggest that brain-to-brain similarities in response to movies contain information about similarities at the social level, allowing them to predict kinship status, friendship, or other social factors.},
    code = {https://github.com/nomcomm/partlycloudy2},
    doi = {tbd},
    }
  • [DOI] [CODE] Schmälzle, R., Wu, J., Lim, S., & Bente, G.. (2024/in press). The eyes have it: Inter-subject correlations of pupillary responses for audience response measurement in VR. bioRxiv.
    [Bibtex]
    @Article{Schmaelzle2024parmabiorxiv,
    author = {Schm{\"a}lzle, Ralf and Wu, Juncheng and Lim, Sue and Bente, Gary},
    journal = {bioRxiv},
    title = {The eyes have it: Inter-subject correlations of pupillary responses for audience response measurement in VR},
    year = {2024/in press},
    abstract = {The eye is the vanguard of the reception process, constituting the point where visual information arrives and is transformed into neural signals. While we view dynamic media contents, a fine-tuned interplay of mechanisms causes our pupils to dilate and constrict over time - and putatively similarly across audience members exposed to the same messages. Research that once pioneered pupillometry did actually use dynamic media as stimuli, but this trend then stalled, and pupillometry remained underdeveloped in the study of naturalistic media messages. Here, we introduce a VR-based approach to capture audience members' pupillary responses during media consumption and suggest an innovative analytic framework. Specifically, we expose audiences to a set of 30 different video messages and compute the cross-receiver similarity of pupillometric responses. Based on this data, we identify the specific video an individual is watching. Our results show that this pupil-pulse-tracking enables highly accurate decoding of video identity. Moreover, we demonstrate that the decoding is relatively robust to manipulations of video size and distractor presence. Finally, we examine the relationship between pupillary responses and subsequent memory. Theoretical implications for objectively quantifying exposure and states of audience engagement are discussed. Practically, we anticipate that this pupillary audience response measurement approach could find application in media measurement across contexts, ranging from traditional screen-based media (commercials, movies) to social media (e.g., TikTok and YouTube), and to next-generation virtual media environments (e.g., Metaverse, gaming).},
    code = {https://github.com/nomcomm/vr_video_pupil_study},
    doi = {https://doi.org/10.1101/2024.01.22.576685},
    }
  • Huskey, R., & Schmälzle, R.. (2024/in press). Finding middle ground In cognitive media psychology. In. N. Bowman & N.D. Shackleford (Eds). Degruyter Handbook Entertainment Media and Communication, 1.
    [Bibtex]
    @Article{Huskeysubmitted/underrevision/inpress,
    author = {Huskey, Richard and Schm{\"a}lzle, Ralf},
    journal = {In. N. Bowman & N.D. Shackleford (Eds). Degruyter Handbook Entertainment Media and Communication},
    title = {Finding middle ground In cognitive media psychology},
    year = {2024/in press},
    pages = {1},
    abstract = {Media psychology is, as the name suggests, is a field of study organized around the psychology of media content, reception, and effects. The field traces its origins to the early 20th century and can be linked with important historical paradigmatic developments in psychology including behaviorism and the cognitive revolution. As the other entries in this handbook demonstrate, modern media psychological research elevates cognition - the psychological processes related to acquiring, processing and storing information - as a primary object of study. Foregrounding the field?s focus on how media affect cognition, we ask several questions: how did we decide to do it, how do we do it, and how are we doing at doing it? To answer these questions, this chapter includes a brief history of landmark developments in the field with a key focus on the transition from behaviorism to cognitivism. Subsequently, we discuss the modern-day methodological toolkit for mapping cognitive processes to self-report, behavioral, and neurophysiological measures. Based on an analysis of the media psychological literature from the past decade, we conclude that the term cognition has increasingly become a mentalistic concept, i.e. using survey-based introspections about mental processes that are largely untethered from their underlying cognitive constructs. With this in mind, we articulate a path forward to re-couple media psychology research with cognition proper via methodologies like computational modeling, neurophysiological measurements, and behavioral studies.},
    editor = {In Shackleford, K. & Bowman, N. D. (Eds.)},
    }
  • Lim, S., & Schmälzle, R.. (2024/in press). The effect of source disclosure on evaluation of AI-generated messages: A two-part study. Computers in Human Behavior: Artificial Humans.
    [Bibtex]
    @Article{lim2024sourcedisclosure,
    author = {Lim, Sue and Schm{\"a}lzle, Ralf},
    journal = {Computers in Human Behavior: Artificial Humans},
    title = {The effect of source disclosure on evaluation of AI-generated messages: A two-part study},
    year = {2024/in press},
    abstract = {Advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) over the last decade demonstrate that machines can exhibit communicative behavior and influence how humans think, feel, and behave. In fact, the recent development of ChatGPT has shown that large language models (LLMs) can be leveraged to generate high-quality communication content at scale and across domains, suggesting that they will be increasingly used in practice. However, many questions remain about how knowing the source of the messages influences recipients' evaluation of and preference for AI-generated messages compared to human-generated messages. This paper investigated this topic in the context of vaping prevention messaging. In Study 1, which was pre-registered, we examined the influence of source disclosure on people's evaluation of AI-generated health prevention messages compared to human-generated messages. We found that source disclosure (i.e., labeling the source of a message as AI vs. human) significantly impacted the evaluation of the messages but did not significantly alter message rankings. In a follow-up study (Study 2), we examined how the influence of source disclosure may vary by the participants' negative attitudes towards AI. We found a significant moderating effect of negative attitudes towards AI on message evaluation, but not for message selection. However, for those with moderate levels of negative attitudes towards AI, source disclosure decreased the preference for AI-generated messages. Overall, the results of this series of studies showed a slight bias against AI-generated messages once the source was disclosed, adding to the emerging area of study that lies at the intersection of AI and communication.},
    }

2023

  • [PDF] [DOI] [CODE] Lim, S., & Schmälzle, R.. (2023). Artificial intelligence for health message generation: an empirical study using a large language model (LLM) and prompt engineering. Frontiers in Communication, 8(1129082).
    [Bibtex]
    @Article{lim2023llmprompting,
    author = {Lim, Sue and Schm{\"a}lzle, Ralf},
    journal = {Frontiers in Communication},
    title = {Artificial intelligence for health message generation: an empirical study using a large language model (LLM) and prompt engineering},
    year = {2023},
    month = jun,
    number = {1129082},
    volume = {8},
    abstract = {Introduction: This study introduces and examines the potential of an AI system to generate health awareness messages. The topic of folic acid, a vitamin that is critical during pregnancy, served as a test case.
    Method: We used prompt engineering to generate awareness messages about folic acid and compared them to the most retweeted human-generated messages via human evaluation with an university sample and another sample comprising of young adult women. We also conducted computational text analysis to examine the similarities between the AI-generated messages and human generated tweets in terms of content and semantic structure.
    Results: The results showed that AI-generated messages ranked higher in message quality and clarity across both samples. The computational analyses revealed that the AI generated messages were on par with human-generated ones in terms of sentiment, reading ease, and semantic content.
    Discussion: Overall, these results demonstrate the potential of large language models for message generation. Theoretical, practical, and ethical implications are discussed},
    code = {https://github.com/nomcomm/Message_Engine2},
    doi = {https://doi.org/10.3389/fcomm.2023.1129082},
    groups = {Ralf:6},
    language = {en},
    }
  • [DOI] Holmstrom, A., Dorrance-Hall, E., Wilcox, S., & Schmälzle, R.. (2023). Confirmation, disconfirmation, and communal coping for joint physical activity in romantic dyads. Health Communication.
    [Bibtex]
    @Article{holmstrom2023confirmation,
    author = {Holmstrom, Amanda and Dorrance-Hall, Elizabeth and Wilcox, Shelby and Schm{\"a}lzle, Ralf},
    journal = {Health Communication},
    title = {Confirmation, disconfirmation, and communal coping for joint physical activity in romantic dyads},
    year = {2023},
    abstract = {Most people in the United States do not engage in sufficient physical activity (PA). However, certain communication behaviors from romantic partners can motivate PA. Research indicates that confirming communication and communal coping (CC) in romantic relationships can increase PA efforts, but less research has examined the role of explicitly disconfirming communication or relationships between confirmation, disconfirmation, and CC on PA outcomes. We examined models in which shared PA appraisals mediate relationships between (a) confirmation and (b) disconfirmation and joint PA behavior in heterosexual, romantic dyads. Sex differences in actor and partner effects were also considered. Partners (N=144) in 72 dyads completed assessments of key constructs. Results indicated that shared PA appraisals were critical in the confirmation model, mediating relationships between perceptions of confirmation and reports of joint PA. Unexpectedly, both partners' reports of partner disconfirmation were positively associated with their partners' reports of joint PA. Only one statistically significant sex difference emerged. Theoretical and pragmatic implications are discussed.},
    doi = {https://doi.org/10.1080/10410236.2023.2201748},
    }
  • [PDF] [DOI] [CODE] Schmälzle, R., Lim, S., Cho, H. J., Wu, J., & Bente, G.. (2023). Examining the exposure-reception-retention link in realistic communication environments via VR and eye-tracking: The VR billboard paradigm. PlosOne.
    [Bibtex]
    @Article{schmaelzle2023vrbillboardplos,
    author = {Schm{\"a}lzle, Ralf and Lim, Sue and Cho, Hee Jung and Wu, Juncheng and Bente, Gary},
    journal = {PlosOne},
    title = {Examining the exposure-reception-retention link in realistic communication environments via VR and eye-tracking: The VR billboard paradigm},
    year = {2023},
    abstract = {Exposure is key to message effects. No effects can ensue if a health, political, or commercial message is not noticed. Yet, existing research in communication, advertising, and related disciplines often measures opportunities for exposure at an aggregate level, whereas knowing whether recipients were actually exposed to a message requires a micro-level approach. Micro-level research, on the other hand, focuses on message processing and retention, takes place under highly controlled laboratory conditions with forced message exposure, and largely ignores how recipients attend selectively to messages under more natural conditions. Eye-tracking enables us to assess actual exposure, but its previous applications were restricted to screen-based reading paradigms lacking ecological validity or field studies that suffer from limited experimental control. Our solution is to measure eye-tracking within an immersive VR environment that creates the message delivery and reception context. Specifically, we simulate a car ride down a highway alongside which billboards are placed. The VR headset (HP Omnicept Pro) provides an interactive 3D view of the environment and holds a seamlessly integrated binocular eye tracker that records the drivers' gaze and detects all fixations on the billboards. This allows us to quantify the nexus between exposure and reception rigorously, and to link our measures to subsequent memory, i.e., whether messages were remembered, forgotten, or not even encoded. An empirical study shows that incidental memory for messages differs based on participants' gaze behavior while passing the billboards. The study further shows how an experimental manipulation of attentional demands directly impacts drivers' gaze behavior and memory. We discuss the large potential of this paradigm to quantify exposure and message reception in realistic communication environments and the equally promising applications in new media contexts (e.g., the Metaverse).},
    code = {https://github.com/nomcomm/vr_billboard_paradigm},
    doi = {https://doi.org/10.1101/2023.06.03.543559},
    url = {https://biorxiv.org/cgi/content/short/2023.06.03.543559v1},
    }
  • [PDF] [DOI] Schmälzle, R., & Huskey, R.. (2023). Integrating media content analysis, reception analysis, and media effects studies. Frontiers in Neuroscience (Neuroscience and the Media).
    [Bibtex]
    @Article{schmaelzle2023receptionanalysis,
    author = {Schm{\"a}lzle, Ralf and Huskey, Richard},
    journal = {Frontiers in Neuroscience (Neuroscience and the Media)},
    title = {Integrating media content analysis, reception analysis, and media effects studies},
    year = {2023},
    abstract = {Every day, the world of media is at our fingertips, whether it is watching movies, listening to the radio, or browsing online media. On average, people spend over 8 hours per day consuming messages from the mass media, amounting to a total lifetime dose of more than 20 years in which conceptual content stimulates our brains. Effects from this flood of information range from short-term attention bursts (e.g., by breaking news features or viral "memes") to life-long memories (e.g., of one's favorite childhood movie), and from micro-level impacts on an individual's memory, attitudes, and behaviors to macro-level effects on nations or generations. The modern study of media's influence on society dates back to the 1940s. This body of mass communication scholarship has largely asked, "what is media's effect on the individual?" Around the time of the cognitive revolution, media psychologists began to ask, "what cognitive processes are involved in media processing?" More recently, neuroimaging researchers started using real-life media as stimuli to examine perception and cognition under more natural conditions. Such research asks: "what can media tell us about brain function?" With some exceptions, these bodies of scholarship often talk past each other. An integration offers new insights into the neurocognitive mechanisms through which media affect single individuals and entire audiences. However, this endeavor faces the same challenges as all interdisciplinary approaches: Researchers with different backgrounds have different levels of expertise, goals, and foci. For instance, neuroimaging researchers label media stimuli as "naturalistic" although they are in many ways rather artificial. Similarly, media experts are typically unfamiliar with the brain. Neither media creators nor neuroscientifically oriented researchers approach media effects from a social scientific perspective, which is the domain of yet another species. In this article, we provide an overview of approaches and traditions to studying media, and we review the emerging literature that aims to connect these streams. We introduce an organizing scheme that connects the causal paths from media content -> brain responses -> media effects and discuss network control theory as a promising framework to integrate media content, reception, and effects analyses.},
    doi = {https://doi.org/10.3389/fnins.2023.1155750},
    }
  • [PDF] [DOI] [CODE] Bente, G., Schmälzle, R., Jahn, N., & Schaaf, A.. (2023). Measuring the effects of co-location on emotion perception in shared virtual environments: An ecological perspective. Frontiers in Virtual Reality, 9, 449.
    [Bibtex]
    @Article{bente2023emotionrecognition,
    author = {Bente, Gary and Schm{\"a}lzle, Ralf and Jahn, Nolan and Schaaf, Andrea},
    journal = {Frontiers in Virtual Reality},
    title = {Measuring the effects of co-location on emotion perception in shared virtual environments: An ecological perspective},
    year = {2023},
    pages = {449},
    volume = {9},
    abstract = {Inferring emotions from others' non-verbal behavior is a pervasive and fundamental task in social interactions. Typically, real-life encounters imply the co-location of interactants, i.e., their embodiment within a shared spatial-temporal continuum in which the trajectories of the interaction partner's Expressive Body Movement (EBM) create mutual social affordances. Shared Virtual Environments (SVEs) and Virtual Characters (VCs) are increasingly used to study social perception, allowing to reconcile experimental stimulus control with ecological validity. However, it remains unclear whether display modalities that enable co-presence have an impact on observers responses to VCs' expressive behaviors. Drawing upon ecological approaches to social perception, we reasoned that sharing the space with a VC should amplify affordances as compared to a screen display, and consequently alter observers' perceptions of EBM in terms of judgment certainty, hit rates, perceived expressive qualities (arousal and valence), and resulting approach and avoidance tendencies. In a between-subject design, we compared the perception of 54 10-s animations of VCs performing three daily activities (painting, mopping, sanding) in three emotional states (angry, happy, sad)?either displayed in 3D as a co-located VC moving in shared space, or as a 2D replay on a screen that was also placed in the SVEs. Results confirm the effective experimental control of the variable of interest, showing that perceived co-presence was significantly affected by the display modality, while perceived realism and immersion showed no difference. Spatial presence and social presence showed marginal effects. Results suggest that the display modality had a minimal effect on emotion perception. A weak effect was found for the expression 'happy,' for which unbiased hit rates were higher in the 3D condition. Importantly, low hit rates were observed for all three emotion categories. However, observers judgments significantly correlated for category assignment and across all rating dimensions, indicating universal decoding principles. While category assignment was erroneous, though, ratings of valence and arousal were consistent with expectations derived from emotion theory. The study demonstrates the value of animated VCs in emotion perception studies and raises new questions regarding the validity of category-based emotion recognition measures.},
    code = {https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33501109/},
    doi = {https://doi.org/10.1057/s41599-022-01461-5},
    }
  • [DOI] [CODE] Schmälzle, R., Liu, H., Delle, F., Lewin, K., Jahn, N. T., Zhang, Y., Yoon, H., & Long, J.. (2023). Moment-by-moment tracking of audience brain responses to an engaging public speech: Replicating the reverse-message engineering approach. Communication Monographs.
    [Bibtex]
    @Article{schmaelzle2023reverseengineering,
    author = {Schm{\"a}lzle, Ralf and Liu, Hanjie and Delle, Faith and Lewin, Kaitlin and Jahn, Nolan T. and Zhang, Yidi and Yoon, Hyungro and Long, Jiaiwei},
    journal = {Communication Monographs},
    title = {Moment-by-moment tracking of audience brain responses to an engaging public speech: Replicating the reverse-message engineering approach},
    year = {2023},
    abstract = {Public speaking engages and entertains large audiences. Through neuroimaging, we can examine audiences' brain responses to speeches and stories in real time. Replicating an earlier study, the current study carries out two kinds of analyses - forward and reverse correlation - with a novel, funny, and entertaining speech stimulus and a new, independent test audience. First, we examine how the soundwave carrying the speech relates to brain responses, finding that responses in the bilateral auditory cortex track well with the speech signal's energy. Second, we use the speech-evoked brain responses to reverse-identify salient moments in the speech's content. Specifically, we focus on responses in the right temporoparietal junction (TPJ), a region often associated with social cognition. We find that TPJ-peaks, as compared to TPJ-troughs, reverse-identify content that is socially engaging (as defined by the ability to evoke audience laughter). These results expand on earlier studies and point to new ways to study the relationship between story content and the audience responses it evokes.},
    code = {https://github.com/nomcomm/narratives_itsnotthefall},
    doi = {https://doi.org/10.1080/03637751.2023.2240398},
    }
  • [PDF] [DOI] Schmälzle, R., & Huskey, R.. (2023). Skyhooks, cranes, and the construct dump: A comment on and extension of Boster (2023). Asian Communication Research, 20(2), 84-94.
    [Bibtex]
    @Article{schmaelzle2023constructdump,
    author = {Schm{\"a}lzle, Ralf and Huskey, Richard},
    journal = {Asian Communication Research},
    title = {Skyhooks, cranes, and the construct dump: A comment on and extension of Boster (2023)},
    year = {2023},
    number = {2},
    pages = {84-94},
    volume = {20},
    abstract = {This commentary responds to Frank J. Boster's essay titled "Too many? Too few? Just right? Construct proliferation and need for a construct dump," which recently appeared in Asian Communication Research. The authors agree with Boster's call to reassess constructs in communication research and present additional evaluation criteria. In particular, the commentary emphasizes the importance of multilevel explanations and proposes a distinction between constructs that provide empty explanations (skyhooks) and constructs that provide grounded explanations (cranes). By incorporating behavioral and biological measures alongside psychometric remedies, the communication research community can strengthen construct validity and advance the field's explanatory power.},
    doi = {https://doi.org/10.20879/acr.2023.20.016},
    }
  • [PDF] [DOI] Lim, S., & Schmälzle, R.. (2023). The effect of source disclosure on evaluation of AI-generated messages: A two-part study. arXiv.
    [Bibtex]
    @Article{Lim2023sourcedisclosure,
    author = {Lim, Sue and Schm{\"a}lzle, Ralf},
    journal = {arXiv},
    title = {The effect of source disclosure on evaluation of AI-generated messages: A two-part study},
    year = {2023},
    abstract = {Advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) over the last decade demonstrate that machines can exhibit communicative behavior and influence how humans think, feel, and behave. In fact, the recent development of ChatGPT has shown that large language models (LLMs) can be leveraged to generate high-quality communication content at scale and across domains, suggesting that they will be increasingly used in practice. However, many questions remain about how knowing the source of the messages influences recipients' evaluation of and preference for AI-generated messages compared to human-generated messages. This paper investigated this topic in the context of vaping prevention messaging. In Study 1, which was pre-registered, we examined the influence of source disclosure on people's evaluation of AI-generated health prevention messages compared to human-generated messages. We found that source disclosure (i.e., labeling the source of a message as AI vs. human) significantly impacted the evaluation of the messages but did not significantly alter message rankings. In a follow-up study (Study 2), we examined how the influence of source disclosure may vary by the participants' negative attitudes towards AI. We found a significant moderating effect of negative attitudes towards AI on message evaluation, but not for message selection. However, for those with moderate levels of negative attitudes towards AI, source disclosure decreased the preference for AI-generated messages. Overall, the results of this series of studies showed a slight bias against AI-generated messages once the source was disclosed, adding to the emerging area of study that lies at the intersection of AI and communication.},
    doi = {https://doi.org/10.48550/arXiv.2311.15544},
    }
  • [DOI] [CODE] Schmälzle, R., Lim, S., Cho, H. J., Wu, J., & Bente, G.. (2023). The VR billboard paradigm: Using VR and eye-tracking to examine the exposure-reception-retention link in realistic communication environments. bioRxiv.
    [Bibtex]
    @Article{Schmaelzle2023,
    author = {Schm{\"a}lzle, Ralf and Lim, Sue and Cho, Hee Jung and Wu, Juncheng and Bente, Gary},
    journal = {bioRxiv},
    title = {The VR billboard paradigm: Using VR and eye-tracking to examine the exposure-reception-retention link in realistic communication environments},
    year = {2023},
    abstract = {todo},
    code = {https://github.com/nomcomm/vr_billboard_paradigm},
    doi = {https://doi.org/10.1101/2023.06.03.543559},
    url = {https://biorxiv.org/cgi/content/short/2023.06.03.543559v1},
    }

2022

  • [PDF] [DOI] [CODE] Lim, S., & Schmälzle, R.. (2022). Artificial intelligence for health message generation: An empirical study using a large language model (LLM) and prompt engineering. arXiv, 2212.07507.
    [Bibtex]
    @Article{lim2022promptengineering,
    code = {https://github.com/nomcomm/message_engine2},
    author = {Lim, Sue and Schm{\"a}lzle, Ralf},
    journal = {arXiv},
    title = {Artificial intelligence for health message generation: An empirical study using a large language model (LLM) and prompt engineering},
    year = {2022},
    pages = {2212.07507},
    abstract = {This study introduces and examines the potential of an AI system to generate health awareness messages. The topic of folic acid, a vitamin that is critical during pregnancy, served as a test case. Using prompt engineering, we generated messages that could be used to raise awareness and compared them to retweeted human-generated messages via computational and human evaluation methods. The system was easy to use and prolific, and computational analyses revealed that the AI-generated messages were on par with human-generated ones in terms of sentiment, reading ease, and semantic content. Also, the human evaluation study showed that AI-generated messages ranked higher in message quality and clarity. We discuss the theoretical, practical, and ethical implications of these results.},
    doi = {https://doi.org/10.48550/arXiv.2212.07507},
    }
  • [PDF] [DOI] Schmälzle, R.. (2022). Theory and method for studying how messages prompt shared brain responses along the sensation-to-cognition continuum. Communication Theory, 32(4), 450-460.
    [Bibtex]
    @Article{schmaelzle2022isctheory,
    author = {Schm{\"a}lzle, Ralf},
    journal = {Communication Theory},
    title = {Theory and method for studying how messages prompt shared brain responses along the sensation-to-cognition continuum},
    year = {2022},
    number = {4},
    pages = {450-460},
    volume = {32},
    abstract = {When members of an audience are exposed to the same messages, their brains will, to a certain degree, exhibit similar responses. These similar, and thus shared audience responses constitute the recruitment of sensory, perceptual, and higher-level neurocognitive processes, which occur separately in the brain of each individual, but in a collectively shared fashion across the audience. A method called inter-subject correlation (ISC) analysis allows to reveal these shared responses. This manuscript introduces a theoretical model of brain function that explains why shared brain responses occur and how they emerge along a gradient from sensation to cognition as individuals process the same message content. This model makes results from ISC-based studies more interpretable from a communication perspective, helps organize the results from existing studies across different subfields, and generates testable predictions. The article discusses how research at the nexus of media, audience research, and neuroscience contributes to and advances communication theory.},
    doi = {https://doi.org/10.1093/ct/qtac009},
    }
  • [PDF] [DOI] [CODE] Schmälzle, R., & Wilcox, S.. (2022). Harnessing artificial intelligence for health message generation: The folic acid message engine. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 22(1), e28858.
    [Bibtex]
    @Article{schmaelzle2022messageengine,
    code = {https://github.com/nomcomm/MessageEngine},
    author = {Schm{\"a}lzle, Ralf and Wilcox, Shelby},
    journal = {Journal of Medical Internet Research},
    title = {Harnessing artificial intelligence for health message generation: The folic acid message engine},
    year = {2022},
    number = {1},
    pages = {e28858},
    volume = {22},
    abstract = {Background: Communication campaigns utilizing social media can raise public awareness, but they are difficult to sustain. One barrier is the need to constantly generate and post novel, yet on-topic messages, which creates a resource-intensive bottleneck.
    Objective: Here, we harness the latest advances in artificial intelligence (AI) to build a system that can generate a large number of candidate messages, which could be used for a campaign. The topic of folic acid, a B-vitamin that helps prevent major birth defects, serves as an example, but the system can work with other topics as well.
    Methods: We used the Generative-Pre-trained-Transformer-2 (GPT2) architecture, a machine learning model trained on a large natural language corpus, and fine tuned it using a dataset of auto-downloaded tweets about #folicacid. The fine tuned model was then used as a message engine, that is to create new messages about this topic. We carried out an online study to gauge how human raters evaluate the AI-generated tweet messages compared to original, human-crafted messages.
    Results: We find that the Folic Acid Message Engine can easily create several hundreds of new messages that appear natural to humans. Online raters evaluated the clarity and quality of a selected sample AI-generated tweets as on par with human-generated ones. Overall, these results show that it is feasible to use such a message engine to suggest messages for online campaigns.
    Conclusions: The message engine can serve as a starting point for more sophisticated AI-guided message creation systems for health communication. Beyond the practical potential of such systems for campaigns in the age of social media, they also hold great scientific potential for quantitative analysis of message characteristics that promote successful communication. We discuss future developments and obvious ethical challenges that need to be addressed as AI technologies for health persuasion enter the stage.},
    doi = {http://dx.doi.org/10.2196/28858},
    }
  • [PDF] [DOI] [CODE] Schmälzle, R., Wilcox, S., & Jahn, N. T.. (2022). Identifying moments of peak audience engagement from brain responses during story listening. Communication Monographs, 89(4), 515-538.
    [Bibtex]
    @Article{schmaelzle2022pieman,
    code = {https://github.com/nomcomm/narratives_pieman},
    author = {Schm{\"a}lzle, Ralf and Wilcox, Shelby and Jahn, Nolan T},
    journal = {Communication Monographs},
    title = {Identifying moments of peak audience engagement from brain responses during story listening},
    year = {2022},
    number = {4},
    pages = {515-538},
    volume = {89},
    abstract = {Stories in general and peak moments with a single story in particular can evoke strong responses across recipients. Between the content of a story and these shared audience responses lies an explanatory gap that neuroimaging can help close. Accordingly, this study examines how the brains of an audience respond during a story. We perform two types of analyses: First, we correlate the story's physical characteristics to brain activity. Second, we reverse-correlate moments of peak brain engagement to story segments. We find that activity peaks in the temporo-parietal junction identify socially engaging points within the story, such as a pie-in-the-face scene, hyperbole, and sexual references. We discuss how these results and reverse correlation neuroimaging more broadly advance communication science.},
    doi = {https://doi.org/10.1080/03637751.2022.2032229},
    }
  • [PDF] [DOI] [CODE] Jahn, N., Bente, G., Meshi, D., & Schmälzle, R.. (2022). Media neuroscience on a shoestring: Examining electrocortical responses to visual stimuli via mobile EEG. Journal of Media Psychology, 35(2), 75-86.
    [Bibtex]
    @Article{jahn2022medianeurosciencemuse,
    code = {https://github.com/nomcomm/MediaNeuroscienceOnAShoestring_JMP},
    author = {Jahn, Nolan and Bente, Gary and Meshi, Dar and Schm{\"a}lzle, Ralf},
    journal = {Journal of Media Psychology},
    title = {Media neuroscience on a shoestring: Examining electrocortical responses to visual stimuli via mobile EEG},
    year = {2022},
    number = {2},
    pages = {75-86},
    volume = {35},
    abstract = {Event-related potentials (ERPs) capture neural responses to media stimuli with a split- second resolution, opening a window to examine how attention modulates the reception process. However, the relatively high cost and difficulty of incorporating ERP methods have prevented broader adoption. This study tested the potential of a new mobile, relatively easy-to-mount , and highly affordable device for electroencephalography (EEG) measurement - the Muse EEG system - combined with a free, open-source platform for ERP recording and analysis. Specifically, we compared ERPs to affective visual stimuli - representative of the kinds of engaging content that pervades modern social media. Our results confirm that the Muse system provides robust visual ERPs, highly reliable across two samples. Although there was no difference between ERPs to moderately positive and neutral stimuli in the expected time windows (200-300 ms, 400-600 ms), an exploratory analysis revealed some evidence for differential processing of positive vs. neutral images at the right temporal sensor site (TP10). Additionally, a compliance gaining manipulation in participant instructions significantly improved data quality. These results support using the Muse EEG system in large-scale studies examining brain responses to screen media. They also suggest an easy social influence tactic that can enhance data quality as communication neuroscience is scaled up. The availability of a mobile EEG system for 250 U.S. dollars makes it possible to incorporate neuroimaging into various communication paradigms beyond visual communication.},
    doi = {https://doi.org/10.1027/1864-1105/a000348},
    }
  • [PDF] [DOI] [CODE] Grady, S. M., Schmälzle, R., & Baldwin, J. A.. (2022). Examining the relationship between story structure and audience response: How shared brain activity varies over the course of a narrative. Projections – Journal for Movies and Mind, 16(3), 1-28.
    [Bibtex]
    @Article{Grady2022storystructure,
    code = {https://github.com/nomcomm/ISC_StoryStructure_Projections},
    author = {Grady, Sara M. and Schm{\"a}lzle, Ralf and Baldwin, Joshua A.},
    journal = {Projections - Journal for Movies and Mind},
    title = {Examining the relationship between story structure and audience response: How shared brain activity varies over the course of a narrative},
    year = {2022},
    number = {3},
    pages = {1-28},
    volume = {16},
    abstract = {When audiences watch a movie, we can examine the similarities among their brain activity via inter-subject correlation analysis (ISC). This study examines how the strength of ISC (how similarly brains respond) varies over the course of a Pixar short film: specifically comparing this across the exposition, rising action, climax/fall-out, and resolution sections of the story. We focus on ISC in the mentalizing network, often linked to social-cognitive processes that are essential to narrative engagement. We find that ISC rises from exposition to the climax. Moreover, we explore this shared response across age groups, finding that ISC is present across age groups, albeit weak in younger children. This approach offers new insights into the brain basis of engagement and story structure.},
    doi = {https://doi.org/10.3167/proj.2022.160301},
    }
  • [PDF] [DOI] [CODE] Bente, G., Schmälzle, R., Kryston, K., & Jahn, N.. (2022). Building blocks of suspense. Subjective and physiological effects of narrative content and film music.. Humanities and Social Sciences Communications, 9, 449.
    [Bibtex]
    @Article{bente2022soundsuspense,
    code = {https://osf.io/ny9cw/},
    author = {Bente, Gary and Schm{\"a}lzle, Ralf and Kryston, Kevin and Jahn, Nolan},
    journal = {Humanities and Social Sciences Communications},
    title = {Building blocks of suspense. Subjective and physiological effects of narrative content and film music.},
    year = {2022},
    pages = {449},
    volume = {9},
    abstract = {The current study explores the role of narrative content and non-diegetic music, as well as their interplay in the creation of film suspense. In a between-subjects design, three audience groups watched either the full version (audio-video) of a suspenseful short movie (Love Field) or a video-only version or listened to the audio track only. Audience responses were assessed with a combination of continuous response measurement (CRM) and psychophysiological measures, comprising heart rate (i.e., inter-beat interval, IBI), pulse volume amplitude (PVA), and skin conductance level (SCL). Frame-by-frame content coding was performed to identify distinct plot segments and musical moods (tense vs. relaxing) and mark the critical visual and auditory events that directed the audience's inferences about the nature of the plot and elicited specific outcome expectations. Results showed that continuous self-report data and objective physiological measures were largely dissociated, suggesting different processing modalities. Tense music alone induced feelings of suspense (CRM) even in the absence of any clues about story content. Overall, the audio-only version led to the highest arousal levels, as indicated by SCL and PVA, while the video-only version led to the lowest arousal levels. IBI data revealed short-term heart rate deceleration responses to salient narrative clues that could be interpreted in terms of heightened attention and cognitive resource allocation. Results are discussed in the light of a multidimensional framework of tension and suspense and a terminological differentiation of both concepts.},
    doi = {https://doi.org/10.1057/s41599-022-01461-5},
    }

2021

  • [PDF] [DOI] [CODE] Grall, C., Weber, R., Tamborini, R., & Schmälzle, R.. (2021). Stories collectively engage listeners’ brains: Enhanced intersubject correlations during reception of personal narratives. Journal of Communication, 71(2), 332-355.
    [Bibtex]
    @Article{grall2021personalstories,
    code = {https://osf.io/s4tcj/},
    author = {Grall, Clare and Weber, Rene and Tamborini, Ronald and Schm{\"a}lzle, Ralf},
    journal = {Journal of Communication},
    title = {Stories collectively engage listeners' brains: Enhanced intersubject correlations during reception of personal narratives},
    year = {2021},
    month = {apr},
    number = {2},
    pages = {332-355},
    volume = {71},
    abstract = {Audiences' engagement with mediated messages lies at the center of media effects research. However, the neurocognitive components underlying audience engagement remain unclear. A neuroimaging study was conducted to determine whether personal narratives engage the brains of audience members more than non-narrative messages and to investigate the brain regions that facilitate this effect. Intersubject correlations of brain activity during message exposure showed that listening to personal narratives elicited strong audience engagement as evidenced by robust correlations across participants' frontal and parietal lobes compared to a descriptive control text. Thus, personal narratives were received and processed more consistently and reliably within specific brain regions. The findings contribute toward a biologically informed explanation for how personal narratives engage audiences to convey information.},
    doi = {https://doi.org/10.1093/joc/jqab004},
    publisher = {Routledge},
    }
  • [PDF] [DOI] Anderson, J., Lapinski, M., Turner, M., Peng, T., & Schmälzle, R.. (2021). Speaking of values: Value-expressive communication and exercise intentions. Health Communication.
    [Bibtex]
    @Article{anderson2021values,
    author = {Anderson, Jennifer and Lapinski, Maria and Turner, Monique and Peng, Taiquan and Schm{\"a}lzle, Ralf},
    journal = {Health Communication},
    title = {Speaking of values: Value-expressive communication and exercise intentions},
    year = {2021},
    abstract = {This study introduces the concept of value-expressive communication and examines its relationship with behavioral intent. Value-expressive communication is conceptualized as the verbal output of a value-expressive attitude (Katz, 1960). Value-expressive communication about exercise is examined in relationship to strength of religious faith, exercise attitudes, and intentions to exercise among a sample of self-identified Christians. The data indicate that value-expressive communication and exercise attitudes is significantly associated with intentions to exercise. However, value-expressive communication was not significantly related to strength of religious faith. Suggestions for using value-expressive communication in health communication research and campaigns are discussed. (last week I didn't encounter anyone).},
    doi = {https://doi.org/10.1080/10410236.2021.1886398},
    }
  • [PDF] [DOI] Schmälzle, R., Wilcox, S., & Grall, C.. (2021). Neuroimaging in environmental communication research. In. Takahashi, B. Metag, J. Thaker, J. & Evans-Comfort, S.: ICA-Routledge Handbook of International Trends in Environmental Communication, 437-448.
    [Bibtex]
    @Article{schmaelzle2021environmental,
    author = {Schm{\"a}lzle, Ralf and Wilcox, Shelby and Grall, Clare},
    journal = {In. Takahashi, B. Metag, J. Thaker, J. \& Evans-Comfort, S.: ICA-Routledge Handbook of International Trends in Environmental Communication},
    title = {Neuroimaging in environmental communication research},
    year = {2021},
    pages = {437-448},
    abstract = {The brain is the biological organ of communication and thus the point where communication effects originate. Neuroimaging methods, which provide measurements of brain activity, allow environmental communication researchers to address questions such as how messages impact recipients, whether they impact all recipients alike, or how message-evoked brain responses translate into effects on attitudes, intentions, and behavior. In this chapter, we provide an overview of current neuroimaging methods and how they can be used to study psychological processes evoked by environmental messages including examples of existing research on environmental communication and on related research in neighboring fields. Such research advances our understanding of basic processes related to mass communication and persuasion, which can ultimately inform the practice of environmental communication as well as policy.},
    doi = {10.4324/9780367275204},
    editor = {todo},
    }
  • [PDF] [DOI] [CODE] Baldwin, J. A., & Schmälzle, R.. (2021). A character recognition tool for automatic detection of social characters in visual media content. Computational Communication Research.
    [Bibtex]
    @Article{baldwin2021characterrecognition,
    code = {https://github.com/nomcomm/Character-Recognition-Tool},
    author = {Baldwin, Joshua Aaron and Schm{\"a}lzle, Ralf},
    journal = {Computational Communication Research},
    title = {A character recognition tool for automatic detection of social characters in visual media content},
    year = {2021},
    abstract = {Content analysis is the go-to method for understanding how social characters, such as public figures or movie characters, are portrayed in media messages. It is an indispensable method to investigate character-related media processes and effects. However, conducting large-scale content-analytic studies is a taxing and expensive endeavor that requires hours of coder training and incurs substantial costs. This problem is particularly acute for video-based media, where coders often have to take extensive time and energy to watch and interpret dynamic content. Here we present a Character-Recognition-Tool (CRT) that enables communication scholars to quickly process large amounts of video data to identify occurrences of specific predefined characters using facial recognition and matching. This paper presents the CRT and provides evidence for its validity. The CRT can automate the coding process of onscreen characters while following recommendations that computational tools be scalable, adaptable for novice programmers, and open source to allow for replication.},
    doi = {https://doi.org/10.5117/CCR2022.1.010.BALD},
    }
  • [PDF] [DOI] Dorrance-Hall, E., Wilcox, S., Holmstrom, A., McGraw, J., & Schmälzle, R.. (2021). Reactance to healthy eating and physical activity messages: Face threat and face management strategies in memorable daily conversations among couples. Health Communication.
    [Bibtex]
    @Article{dorrance2021dyadic,
    author = {Dorrance-Hall, Elizabeth and Wilcox, Shelby and Holmstrom, Amanda and McGraw, Johnny and Schm{\"a}lzle, Ralf},
    journal = {Health Communication},
    title = {Reactance to healthy eating and physical activity messages: Face threat and face management strategies in memorable daily conversations among couples},
    year = {2021},
    abstract = {Most adults in the United States (U.S.) fail to meet guidelines for physical activity (PA) and nutrition outlined by the Centers for Disease Control. One important predictor of engagement in healthy behavior is support from one's romantic partner. However, messages from partners may fail to motivate healthy behavior if they threaten recipients face and cause reactance. The present study examines face-threatening acts (FTAs) and face management strategies (FMSs) in conversations between romantic couples and their associations with reactance, healthy eating, and PA behaviors. Cohabitating couples (N = 70) were recruited, and one member of the couple completed a 10-day diary survey in which they reported on daily memorable conversations they had with their partner about PA and/or healthy eating. Participants completed measures of positive and negative face threat, as well as the extent to which they engaged in healthy eating and PA that day. Trained raters assessed reported conversations for positive and negative face threat as well as positive and negative FMSs. Results indicate that both participant and trained raters' reports of positive face threat were associated with increased reactance, whereas only participants' reports of negative face threat were associated with increased reactance. Both positive and negative FMSs were associated with reduced reactance. Reactance was negatively associated with healthy eating and PA. Results are discussed in terms of implications for reactance and politeness theories, as well as pragmatic implications for the millions of partnered individuals in the U.S. seeking to improve their health.},
    doi = {https://doi.org/10.1080/10410236.2021.2010354},
    }

2020

  • [PDF] [DOI] Grall, C., & Schmälzle, R.. (2020). Neurocinematics. In. J. VanDenBulck & M.-L. Mares: The International Encyclopedia of Media Psychology.
    [Bibtex]
    @Article{grall2020neurocinematics,
    author = {Grall, Clare and Schm{\"a}lzle, Ralf},
    journal = {In. J. VanDenBulck \& M.-L. Mares: The International Encyclopedia of Media Psychology},
    title = {Neurocinematics},
    year = {2020},
    abstract = {Neurocinematics, an approach at the intersection of neuroscience, media psychology, and film, uses neuroimaging methods to elucidate the reception and processing of movies. This article provides a brief introduction to methods and an overview of current research.},
    doi = {https://doi.org/10.1002/9781119011071.iemp0305},
    editor = {todo},
    }
  • [PDF] [DOI] Huskey, R., Eden, A., Grall, C., Meshi, D., Prena, K., Schmälzle, R., Scholz, C., Turner, B., & Wilcox, S.. (2020). Marr’s tri-level framework integrates biology with communication science. Journal of Communication, 1(1), 1-20.
    [Bibtex]
    @Article{huskey2020marr,
    author = {Huskey, Richard and Eden, Allison and Grall, Clare and Meshi, Dar and Prena, Kelcy and Schm{\"a}lzle, Ralf and Scholz, Christin and Turner, Ben and Wilcox, Shelby},
    title = {Marr's tri-level framework integrates biology with communication science},
    journal = {Journal of Communication},
    year = {2020},
    volume = {1},
    number = {1},
    pages = {1-20},
    abstract = {In this special issue devoted to speaking across communication subfields, we introduce a domain general explanatory framework that integrates biological explanation with communication science and organizes our field around a shared explanatory empirical model. Specifically, we draw on David Marr's classical framework, which subdivides explanation of human behavior into the levels: computation (why), algorithm (what), and implementation (how). Prior theorizing and research in communication has primarily addressed Marr's computational level (why), but has less frequently investigated algorithmic (what) or implementation (how all communication phenomena emerge from and rely on biological processes) explanations. Here, we introduce Marr's framework and apply it to three research domains in communication science - audience research, persuasion, and social comparisons - to demonstrate what a unifying framework for explaining communication across the levels of why, what, and how can look like, and how Marr's framework speaks to and receives input from all subfields of communication inquiry.},
    doi = {https://doi.org/10.1093/joc/jqaa007},
    publisher = {Routledge}
    }
  • [PDF] [DOI] Schmälzle, R., & Grall, C.. (2020). Mediated messages and synchronized brains. In. Floyd & Weber: Handbook of Communication Science and Biology, 109-122.
    [Bibtex]
    @Article{schmaelzle2020iscreview,
    author = {Schm{\"a}lzle, Ralf and Grall, Clare},
    title = {Mediated messages and synchronized brains},
    journal = {In. Floyd \& Weber: Handbook of Communication Science and Biology},
    year = {2020},
    pages = {109-122},
    abstract = {When a mediated message is processed by different recipients, it prompts similar responses in separate brains. These hidden, but collectively shared brain responses can be exposed by computing cross-recipient correlations of brain activity time series, called inter-subject correlation (ISC) analysis. Here we provide an overview of this approach, review its findings to date, and discuss why it is highly relevant for communication science.},
    doi = {https://doi.org/10.4324/9781351235587},
    editor = {todo}
    }
  • [PDF] [DOI] Schmälzle, R., & Grall, C.. (2020). Psychophysiological methods: Options, uses, and validity. In. J. VanDenBulck & M.-L. Mares: The International Encyclopedia of Media Psychology.
    [Bibtex]
    @Article{schmaelzle2020psychophysiological,
    author = {Schm{\"a}lzle, Ralf and Grall, Clare},
    title = {Psychophysiological methods: Options, uses, and validity},
    journal = {In. J. VanDenBulck \& M.-L. Mares: The International Encyclopedia of Media Psychology},
    year = {2020},
    abstract = {A comprehensive understanding of media's rich effects on the mind requires a multi-modal measurement approach that assesses self-report, physiology, and behavior that values each domain - on equal footing. Psychophysiology provides theories and measures to study how media affect objective physiological responses and how physiological responses interact with media variables.},
    doi = {https://doi.org/10.1002/9781119011071.iemp0013},
    editor = {todo}
    }
  • [PDF] [DOI] [CODE] Schmälzle, R., Cooper, N., O’Donnell, B. M., Tompson, S., Lee, S., Cantrell, J., Vettel, J. M., & Falk, E. B.. (2020). The effectiveness of online messages for promoting smoking cessation resources: Predicting nationwide campaign effects from neural responses in the EX campaign. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 14 [Shared frist authorship].
    [Bibtex]
    @Article{schmaelzlecooper2020onlinemessages,
    code = {https://github.com/nomcomm/TruthEx_Frontiers},
    author = {Schm{\"a}lzle, Ralf and Cooper, Nicole and O'Donnell, M Brook and Tompson, Steven and Lee, Sangil and Cantrell, Jennifer and Vettel, Jean M and Falk, Emily B},
    journal = {Frontiers in Human Neuroscience},
    title = {The effectiveness of online messages for promoting smoking cessation resources: Predicting nationwide campaign effects from neural responses in the EX campaign},
    year = {2020},
    volume = {14 [Shared frist authorship]},
    abstract = {What are the key ingredients that make some persuasive messages resonate with audiences and elicit action, while others fail? Billions of dollars per year are put towards changing human behavior, but it is difficult to know which messages will be the most persuasive in the field. By combining novel neuroimaging techniques and large-scale online data, we examine the role of key health communication variables relevant to motivating action at scale. We exposed a sample of smokers to anti-smoking web-banner messages from a real-world campaign while measuring message-evoked brain response patterns via fMRI, and we also obtained subjective evaluations of each banner. Neural indices were derived based on i) message-evoked activity in specific brain regions and ii) spatially distributed response patterns, both selected based on prior research and theoretical considerations. Next, we connected the neural and subjective data with an independent, objective outcome of message success, that is the per- banner click-through rate in the real-world campaign. Results show that messages evoking brain responses more similar to signatures of negative emotion and vividness had lower online click-through-rates. This strategy helps to connect and integrate the rapidly growing body of knowledge about brain function with formative research and outcome evaluation of health campaigns, and could ultimately further disease prevention efforts.},
    doi = {http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnhum.2020.565772},
    publisher = {Frontiers Media},
    url = {https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnhum.2020.565772/abstract},
    }
  • [PDF] [DOI] [CODE] Schmälzle, R., & Grall, C.. (2020). The coupled brains of captivated audiences: An investigation of the collective brain dynamics of an audience watching a suspenseful film. Journal of Media Psychology, 1-13 [Shared frist authorship].
    [Bibtex]
    @Article{schmaelzlegrall2020coupled,
    code = {https://github.com/nomcomm/CamCanSuspenseISC_JMP},
    author = {Schm{\"a}lzle, Ralf and Grall, Clare},
    journal = {Journal of Media Psychology},
    title = {The coupled brains of captivated audiences: An investigation of the collective brain dynamics of an audience watching a suspenseful film},
    year = {2020},
    pages = {1-13 [Shared frist authorship]},
    abstract = {Suspense not only creates a strong psychological tension within individuals, but it does so reliably across viewers who become collectively engaged with the story. Despite its prevalence in media psychology, limited work has examined suspense from a media neuroscience perspective, and thus the biological underpinnings of suspense remain unknown. Here we examine continuous brain responses of 494 viewers watching a suspenseful movie. To create a time-resolved measure of the degree to which a movie aligns audience-wide brain responses, we computed dynamic inter-subject correlations of fMRI time series among all viewers using sliding-window analysis. In parallel, we captured in-the-moment reports of suspense in an independent sample via continuous response measurement (CRM). We find that dynamic ISC over the course of the movie tracks well with the reported suspense in the CRM sample, particularly in regions associated with emotional salience and higher cognitive processes. These results are compatible with theoretical views on motivated attention and psychological tension. The finding that fMRI-based audience response measurement relates to audience reports of suspense creates new opportunities for research on the mechanisms of suspense and other entertainment phenomena and has applied potential for measuring audience responses in a nonreactive and objective fashion.},
    doi = {https://doi.org/todo},
    editor = {todo},
    }
  • [PDF] [DOI] Schmälzle, R., & Meshi, D.. (2020). Communication neuroscience: Theory, methodology, and experimental approaches. Communication Methods and Measures, 1(1), 1-16 [Shared first authorship].
    [Bibtex]
    @Article{schmaelzlemeshi2020commneuro,
    author = {Schm{\"a}lzle, Ralf and Meshi, Dar},
    journal = {Communication Methods and Measures},
    title = {Communication neuroscience: Theory, methodology, and experimental approaches},
    year = {2020},
    number = {1},
    pages = {1-16 [Shared first authorship]},
    volume = {1},
    abstract = {The human brain is our primary biological organ of communication. The brain acts as both the sender and receiver of messages and underpins our fundamental ability to communicate and interact with others. Communication scholars can therefore study the brain to gain a more complete understanding of communication phenomena. Our goal with the present manuscript is to promote neuroscience research to communication scholars in the following ways: (1) We provide rationale for studying communication from a neural perspective. (2) We delineate the various advantages and challenges that neuroscience methods present. (3) We describe three distinct methodological entry points for communication scholars to approach the field. Specifically, we illustrate how neuroscience measures can be incorporated into communication research as dependent variables, mediators, or predictors. We then close with a forward-looking perspective on future developments in measurement, analysis, and theory, which we expect will have a profound influence on communication science.},
    doi = {https://doi.org/10.1080/19312458.2019.1708283},
    }
  • [PDF] [DOI] [CODE] Imhof, M. A., Schmälzle, R., Renner, B., & Schupp, H. T.. (2020). Strong health messages increase audience brain coupling. NeuroImage, 216, 116527.
    [Bibtex]
    @Article{imhof2020eegisc,
    author = {Imhof, Martin A and Schm{\"a}lzle, Ralf and Renner, Britta and Schupp, Harald T},
    title = {Strong health messages increase audience brain coupling},
    journal = {NeuroImage},
    year = {2020},
    volume = {216},
    pages = {116527},
    code = {https://osf.io/9mc8b/},
    abstract = {Mass media messaging is central for health communication. The success of these efforts, however, depends on whether health messages resonate with their target audiences. Here, we used electroencephalography (EEG) to capture brain responses of young adults - an important target group for alcohol prevention - while they viewed real-life video messages of varying perceived message effectiveness about risky alcohol use. We found that strong messages, which were rated to be more effective, prompted enhanced inter-subject correlation (ISC). In further analyses, we linked ISC to subsequent drinking behavior change and used time-resolved EEG-ISC to model functional neuroimaging data (fMRI) of an independent audience. The EEG measure was not only related to sensory-perceptual brain regions, but also to regions previously related to successful messaging, i.e., cortical midline regions and the insula. The findings suggest EEG-ISC as a marker for audience engagement and effectiveness of naturalistic health messages, which could quantify the impact of mass communication within the brains of small target audiences.},
    doi = {https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2020.116527},
    publisher = {Routledge}
    }
  • [PDF] [DOI] Wilcox, S., Dorrance-Hall, E., Homstrom, A., & Schmälzle, R.. (2020). The emerging frontier of interpersonal communication and neuroscience: Scanning the social synapse. Annals of the International Communication Association, 44(4), 368-384.
    [Bibtex]
    @Article{wilcox2020socialsynapse,
    author = {Wilcox, Shelby and Dorrance-Hall, Elizabeth and Homstrom, Amanda and Schm{\"a}lzle, Ralf},
    journal = {Annals of the International Communication Association},
    title = {The emerging frontier of interpersonal communication and neuroscience: Scanning the social synapse},
    year = {2020},
    number = {4},
    pages = {368-384},
    volume = {44},
    abstract = {Humans are inherently social, driven to communicate and build relationships with one another. The question of how messages between people create shared understanding lies at the core of interpersonal communication. Relatedly, neuroscience scholars are beginning to investigate how dyads, i.e. two socially interacting brains, produce this shared understanding. Here, we argue that interpersonal communication has much to contribute to this rapidly growing area within neuroscience, while also benefiting from adopting neuroscientific approaches. This article provides an introduction to research at the intersection of interpersonal communication and neuroscience. While we are optimistic that neuroscientific research into interpersonal communication processes will grow and yield new insights into communication processes, we will also discuss challenges and potential misunderstandings that researchers may encounter.},
    doi = {https://doi.org/10.1080/23808985.2020.1843366},
    }

2019

  • [PDF] [DOI] [CODE] Schmälzle, R., Hartung, F., Barth, A., Imhof, M. A., Kenter, A., Renner, B., & Schupp, H. T.. (2019). Visual cues that predict intuitive risk perception in the case of HIV. PLoS One, 14(2), e0211770.
    [Bibtex]
    @Article{schmaelzle2019cues,
    author = {Schm{\"a}lzle, Ralf and Hartung, Freda-Marie and Barth, Alexander and Imhof, Martin A and Kenter, Alex and Renner, Britta and Schupp, Harald T},
    journal = {PLoS One},
    title = {Visual cues that predict intuitive risk perception in the case of HIV},
    year = {2019},
    month = feb,
    number = {2},
    pages = {e0211770},
    volume = {14},
    abstract = {Field studies indicate that people may form impressions about potential partners' HIV risk, yet lack insight into what underlies such intuitions. The present study examined which cues may give rise to the perception of riskiness. Towards this end, portrait pictures of persons that are representative of the kinds of images found on social media were evaluated by independent raters on two sets of data: First, sixty visible cues deemed relevant to person perception, and second, perceived HIV risk and trustworthiness, health, and attractiveness. Here, we report correlations between cues and perceived HIV risk, exposing cue-criterion associations that may be used to infer intuitively HIV risk. Second, we trained a multiple cue-based model to forecast perceived HIV risk through cross-validated predictive modelling. Trained models accurately predicted how 'risky' a person was perceived (r = 0.75) in a novel sample of portraits. Findings are discussed with respect to HIV risk stereotypes and implications regarding how to foster effective protective behaviors.},
    code = {https://github.com/nomcomm/RiskCues_PlosOne},
    doi = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0211770},
    groups = {Ralf:6},
    language = {en},
    }
  • [PDF] [DOI] [CODE] Kranzler, E. C., Schmälzle, R., O’Donnell, M. B., Pei, R., & Falk, E. B.. (2019). Adolescent neural responses to antismoking messages, perceived effectiveness, and sharing intention. Media Psychology, 22(2), 323–349.
    [Bibtex]
    @Article{kranzler2019adolescents,
    author = {Kranzler, Elissa C and Schm{\"a}lzle, Ralf and O'Donnell, Matthew Brook and Pei, Rui and Falk, Emily B},
    title = {Adolescent neural responses to antismoking messages, perceived effectiveness, and sharing intention},
    journal = {Media Psychology},
    year = {2019},
    volume = {22},
    number = {2},
    pages = {323--349},
    month = mar,
    code = {https://osf.io/gz5uv/},
    abstract = {Health communication delivered via media channels can substantially influence adolescents? choices, and the effects of messages are amplified through interpersonal sharing. However, the underlying psychological and neurocognitive mechanisms that influence message effectiveness and likelihood of sharing are not well understood, especially among adolescents. Based on research in adults, we hypothesized and preregistered that message-induced neural activation in regions associated with self-reflection, social processing, and positive valuation would be related to greater perceived ad effectiveness and intentions to share messages. We focused on brain activity in meta-analytically defined regions associated with these three processes as 40 adolescent nonsmokers viewed advertisements from ?The Real Cost? antismoking campaign. Perceived message effectiveness was positively associated with brain activity in the hypothesized social processing regions and marginally associated with brain activity in self-relevance regions, but not associated with brain activity in valuation regions. By contrast, intentions to share the messages were not associated with neural response in these 3 systems. In contrast to previous neuroimaging studies with adult subjects, our findings highlight the role of social cognition in adolescent processing of persuasive messages. We discuss the possibility that the mental processes responsive to effective and shareworthy messages may reflect developmental processes pertinent to media effects.},
    doi = {https://doi.org/10.1080/15213269.2018.1476158},
    publisher = {Routledge}
    }
  • [PDF] [DOI] Kranzler, E. C., Schmälzle, R., O’Donnell, M. B., Pei, R., & Falk, E. B.. (2019). Message-elicited brain response moderates the relationship between opportunities for exposure to anti-smoking messages and message recall. Journal of Communication, 69(5), 589-611.
    [Bibtex]
    @Article{kranzler2019moderation,
    author = {Kranzler, Elissa C and Schm{\"a}lzle, Ralf and O'Donnell, Matthew Brook and Pei, Rui and Falk, Emily B},
    title = {Message-elicited brain response moderates the relationship between opportunities for exposure to anti-smoking messages and message recall},
    journal = {Journal of Communication},
    year = {2019},
    volume = {69},
    number = {5},
    pages = {589-611},
    doi = {https://doi.org/10.1093/joc/jqz035},
    publisher = {Routledge}
    }
  • [PDF] [DOI] Pei, R., Schmälzle, R., Kranzler, E. C., O’Donnell, M. B., & Falk, E. B.. (2019). Adolescents’ neural response to tobacco prevention messages and sharing engagement. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 56(2S1), S40–S48.
    [Bibtex]
    @Article{pei2019adolescents,
    author = {Pei, Rui and Schm{\"a}lzle, Ralf and Kranzler, Elissa C and O'Donnell, Matthew B and Falk, Emily B},
    title = {Adolescents' neural response to tobacco prevention messages and sharing engagement},
    journal = {American Journal of Preventive Medicine},
    year = {2019},
    volume = {56},
    number = {2S1},
    pages = {S40--S48},
    month = feb,
    abstract = {INTRODUCTION: Interpersonal communication can reinforce media effects on health behavior. Recent studies have shown that brain activity in the medial prefrontal cortex during message exposure can predict message-consistent behavior change. Key next steps include examining the relationship between neural responses to ads and measures of interpersonal message retransmission that can be collected at scale. METHODS: Neuroimaging, self-report, and automated linguistic measures were utilized to investigate the relationships between neural responses to tobacco prevention messages, sharing engagement, and smoking-relevant belief changes. Thirty-seven adolescent nonsmokers viewed 12 ads from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's ``The Real Cost'' campaign during a functional magnetic resonance imaging scan session (2015-2016). Data were analyzed between 2016 and 2017. The extent that participants talked in detail about the main message of the ads, or sharing engagement, was measured through transcripts of participants' subsequent verbal descriptions using automated linguistic coding. Beliefs about the consequences of smoking were measured before and after the main experiment using surveys. RESULTS: Increased brain activation in self- and value-related subregions of the medial prefrontal cortex during message exposure was associated with subsequent sharing engagement when participants verbally talked about the ads. In addition, sharing engagement was significantly associated with changes in participants' beliefs about the social consequences of smoking. CONCLUSIONS: Neural activity in self- and value-related subregions of the medial prefrontal cortex during exposure to ``The Real Cost'' campaign was associated with subsequent sharing engagement, which in turn was related to social belief change. These results provide new insights into the link between neurocognitive responses to ads, the content of interpersonal sharing, and downstream health-relevant outcomes. SUPPLEMENT INFORMATION: This article is part of a supplement entitled Fifth Anniversary Retrospective of ``The Real Cost,'' the Food and Drug Administration's Historic Youth Smoking Prevention Media Campaign, which is sponsored by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.},
    doi = {https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amepre.2018.07.044},
    language = {en}
    }
  • [PDF] [DOI] [CODE] Schmälzle, R., Imhof, M. A., Kenter, A., Renner, B., & Schupp, H. T.. (2019). Impressions of HIV risk online: Brain potentials while viewing online dating profiles. Cognitive, Affective and Behavioral Neuroscience, 14(2), e1.
    [Bibtex]
    @Article{schmaelzle2019onlinedating,
    author = {Schm{\"a}lzle, Ralf and Imhof, Martin A and Kenter, Alex and Renner, Britta and Schupp, Harald T},
    journal = {Cognitive, Affective and Behavioral Neuroscience},
    title = {Impressions of HIV risk online: Brain potentials while viewing online dating profiles},
    year = {2019},
    month = jun,
    number = {2},
    pages = {e1},
    volume = {14},
    abstract = {There is an increasing trend to use online dating to meet potential partners. Previous studies in offline contexts indicate that people may judge the risk of sexually transmitted infections based on a person s appearance. Online dating profiles commonly present profile pictures and verbal self:descriptions. To examine the integration of verbal and visual risk information, the current event:related potential study used a simulated dating platform in which verbal:descriptive information (low vs. high verbal risk) was presented, followed by a photograph (low vs. high visual risk). Results indicated main effects of verbal and visual risk. Specifically, high compared to low risk verbal profiles elicited a relative negative shift over occipito:parietal sensor sites between 260 and 408 ms. Furthermore, a sustained occipital negativity (132:500 ms) and central positivity (156:272 ms) was observed for high as compared to low visual risk profiles. There was also evidence for the integration of verbal and visual risk formation, as indicated by distinct positive ERP shift occurred between 272:428 ms over anterior temporal regions when a high risk photograph was preceded by high risk verbal information. This suggests that verbal:descriptive information is integrated with visual appearance early in the processing stream. The distinct response for high verbal and visual information extends the notion of an alarm function ascribed to risk perception by demonstrating integration about multiple sources. Simulating online dating platforms provides a useful tool to examine intuitive risk perception.},
    code = {https://github.com/nomcomm/RiskProfiles_CABN},
    doi = {https://doi.org/10.3758/s13415-019-00731-1},
    groups = {Ralf:6},
    language = {en},
    }

2018

  • [PDF] [DOI] [CODE] Schlicht-Schmälzle, R., Chykina, V., & Schmälzle, R.. (2018). An attitude network analysis of post-national citizenship identities. PLoS One, 13(12), e0208241.
    [Bibtex]
    @Article{schlicht2018network,
    author = {Schlicht-Schm{\"a}lzle, Raphaela and Chykina, Volha and Schm{\"a}lzle, Ralf},
    title = {An attitude network analysis of post-national citizenship identities},
    journal = {PLoS One},
    year = {2018},
    volume = {13},
    number = {12},
    pages = {e0208241},
    month = mar,
    code = {https://github.com/nomcomm/GlobalCitizenship_EVS},
    abstract = {How are evaluative reactions pertaining post-national citizenship identities interrelated and what are the potential mechanisms how post-national identities evolve? Previous efforts to operationalize and measure post-national citizenship identities leave it open how people's stances on different issues are related and suffer from a variety of theoretical and methodological shortcomings regarding the nature of political attitudes and ideologies. A recently proposed approach conceptualizes ideologies as networks of causally connected evaluative reactions to individual issues. Individual evaluative reactions form the nodes in a network model, and these nodes can influence each other via linked edges, thereby giving rise to a dynamic thoughts system of networked political and identity-related views. To examine this system at large, we apply network analysis to data from the European Values Study. Specifically, we investigate 33 evaluative reactions regarding national and supra-national identity, diversity, global empathy, global environmentalism, immigration, and supra-national politics. The results reveal a strongly connected network of citizenship identity-related attitudes. A community analysis reveals larger clusters of strongly related evaluative reactions, which are connected via bridges and hub nodes. Centrality analysis identifies evaluative reactions that are strategically positioned in the network, and network simulations indicate that persuasion attempts targeted at such nodes have greater potential to influence the larger citizenship identity than changes of more peripheral attitude nodes. We lastly show that socio-demographic characteristics are not only associated with the overall level of post-national citizenship, but also with the network structure, suggesting that these structural differences can affect the network function as people develop national or post-national citizenship identities, or respond to external events. These results provide new insights into the structure of post-national identities and the mechanism how post-national identities might evolve. We end with a discussion of future opportunities to study networked attitudes in the context of civic and citizenship education.},
    doi = {https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0208241},
    publisher = {Public Library of Science}
    }
  • [PDF] [DOI] Kryston, K., Novotny, E., Schmälzle, R., & Tamborini, R.. (2018). Video games: A medium that demands our attention. In Bowman, N. (Ed.), .
    [Bibtex]
    @InBook{kryston2018social,
    chapter = {Social demand in video games and the synchronization theory of flow},
    title = {Video games: A medium that demands our attention},
    year = {2018},
    author = {Kryston, Kevin and Novotny, Eric and Schm{\"a}lzle, Ralf and Tamborini, Ronald},
    editor = {Bowman, Nicolas},
    doi = {https://www.routledge.com/Video-Games-A-Medium-That-Demands-Our-Attention-1st-Edition/Bowman/p/book/9780815376897},
    url = {https://www.routledge.com/Video-Games-A-Medium-That-Demands-Our-Attention-1st-Edition/Bowman/p/book/9780815376897}
    }

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, 12(7), 1188-1196 [Shared first authorship].
    [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},
    volume = {12},
    number = {7},
    pages = {1188-1196 [Shared first authorship]},
    month = {Apr},
    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}
    }
  • [PDF] [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/BrainConnectivitySocialNetwork_PNAS},
    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] [CODE] 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},
    code = {https://github.com/nomcomm/reliability_project},
    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}
    }
  • [PDF] [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{schmaelzle2017healthrisk2,
    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}
    }

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},
    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] [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}
    }
  • [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] 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] 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] 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.}
    }

2014

  • [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}
    }
  • [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}
    }

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. 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 = {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}
    }
  • 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{Barth2013,
    author = {Barth, Alexander and Schm{\"a}lzle, Ralf and Renner, Britta and Schupp, Harald T},
    journal = {Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience},
    title = {Neural correlates of risk perception: HIV vs. leukemia},
    year = {2013},
    number = {1},
    pages = {1},
    volume = {7},
    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] 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}
    }
  • [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] 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}
    }

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] Renner, B., Schupp, H. T., & Schmälzle, R.. (2009). 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},
    journal = {Handbuch {\"u} Gesundheitspsychologie und Medizinische Psychologie},
    title = {Risikowahrnehmung und Risikokommunikation},
    year = {2009},
    number = {3},
    pages = {113--121},
    volume = {16},
    abstract = {n.a.},
    publisher = {Goettingen: Hogrefe},
    }
  • [PDF] 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}
    }
  • [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}
    }

2008

  • [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}
    }
  • [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}
    }