Effect of visual stimuli with fearful emotional cue on population receptive field estimates
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Previous studies showed that the content of stimulus might affect the results of population receptive field (pRF) estimation method [1, 2, 3]. In addition, emotion might modulate visual processing in humans by increasing BOLD activity [4, 5]. Taken together, the stimulus with emotional cue might affect the pRF parameters. To investigate the effect of emotion on visual processing, we used the population receptive field (pRF) method , with simultaneous wedge and ring stimuli rendered with scrambled, neutral or emotional images. Results showed that the pRF estimations were affected by the stimulus content in visual areas hV4 and V3A, as well as lower retinotopic regions: V1, V2 and V3. Moreover, we showed the emotional content of stimulus might lead to the increased pRF sizes as well as a shift in pRF centers toward the eccentric side. We argue that the increased pRF size and the pRF shift might be a result of emotional modulation of visual processing.