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According to LeDoux’s model (1996) we have specialized pathways for processing emotional cues. Pourtois, Schettino and Vuilleumier (2013) offer a neural model of how emotional signals capture attention. In their model, amygdala is not only able to respond to relevant cues, it also have a role in orienting attention towards emotional stimuli (with the assistance of other brain areas).

In other words, human beings don’t attend emotional stimuli in the same way they attend other objects.

Are there any experimental data explaining how this preference for emotional stimuli develops from infancy to childhood?

My reference:

Pourtois et al 2013 "Brain mechanisms for emotional influences on perception and attention: what is magic and what is not."

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    $\begingroup$ Your question has nice background info, but I'm not sure I understand what you ultimately ask when you inquire about a "theory explaining how this preference for emotional stimuli develops throughout childhood". A very basic theory would be that that is simply evolutionarily selected for. Are you asking for something more elaborate like how it changes with age etc.? That would probably be more empirical than "theory". $\endgroup$ – Fizz Jan 10 '18 at 10:06
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, i'm sorry, i'm searching for empirical data assessing how attention to emotional stimuli develops from infancy to childhood... i reformulate... $\endgroup$ – Fil Jan 10 '18 at 10:10
  • $\begingroup$ Ok, i wish it's better know. Thanks. $\endgroup$ – Fil Jan 10 '18 at 10:13

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