Event Abstract

Group opinion influences early visual perceptual processes differently in high and low autonomous participants investigated with EEG

  • 1 Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg, Germany

Group opinion can have tremendous influence on individual’s judgement of a perceptually simple task reflected by increased conformity. So far it is unclear whether social conformity influences early stages of perception that might not even reach awareness or later stages of conscious decision-making. We were interested in the question whether high (HA) and low autonomous (LA) subjects would perform differently under social pressure both on the behavioral and neural level. In the present study, our goal was to investigate whether group context influences early ERP-components as the P100 at posterior regions in HA and LA participants. 19 HA (n = 9) and LA (n = 10) participants grouped according to a newly developed autonomy questionnaire by the KWI in Essen were asked to accomplish a visual discrimination task and a personality questionnaire. We pretended to match subjects to a group of four according to their accuracy in the visual task and to their personality. 64-channel EEG was recorded. Stimuli close to the individual visual threshold were presented in order to enhance group influence. Prior to the presentation of the stimuli, faces on the left or right represented the decision of the virtual group which could be either correct or incorrect with respect to the actual stimuli. Preliminary results indicate that LA subjects conformed to the erroneous group decision more often than HA subjects. LA, but not HA subjects, showed a larger posterior P1 component contralateral to targets presented in the right visual field when conforming to the correct compared to conforming to the incorrect group decision. In conclusion, our ERP data suggest that the group context can have early effects on our perception rather than on conscious decision processes in LA, but not HA participants. Funding: Funded by Volkswagen Stiftung.

Keywords: EEG, emotion

Conference: XI International Conference on Cognitive Neuroscience (ICON XI), Palma, Mallorca, Spain, 25 Sep - 29 Sep, 2011.

Presentation Type: Poster Presentation

Topic: Poster Sessions: Emotion, Motivation and the Social Brain

Citation: Trautmann-Lengsfeld SA and Herrmann CS (2011). Group opinion influences early visual perceptual processes differently in high and low autonomous participants investigated with EEG. Conference Abstract: XI International Conference on Cognitive Neuroscience (ICON XI). doi: 10.3389/conf.fnhum.2011.207.00488

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Received: 22 Nov 2011; Published Online: 28 Nov 2011.

* Correspondence: Dr. Sina A Trautmann-Lengsfeld, Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg, Oldenburg, Germany, sina.trautmann-lengsfeld@uni-oldenburg.de