Emotional responses to pictures of oneself in healthy college age females

Sarah M. Buck, Charles H. Hillman, Ellen M. Evans, Christopher M. Janelle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Emotional responses related to self-perceptions were investigated in healthy college-aged females using a picture-viewing paradigm that consisted of four categories of pictures (pleasant, neutral, unpleasant, and full body pictures of themselves). The startle eye-blink reflex, facial EMG, and self-reported valence, arousal, and dominance measures were recorded for each picture. Startle reflex and facial EMG measures exhibited decreased activation for self-pictures compared to the other affective categories. Self-reports indicated self-pictures were rated as moderately pleasant, low arousing, and moderately dominant relative to the other affective picture categories. The findings of reduced startle blink reflex coupled with decreased activation for all facial EMG measures and the moderate self-report ratings suggest increased attentional processing for self-pictures. These findings provide an understanding of emotional responses to self-perceptions in healthy young females.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)279-295
Number of pages17
JournalMotivation and Emotion
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2004


  • IAPS
  • attentional inhibition
  • body image
  • facial EMG
  • picture viewing
  • startle reflex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology

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