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The purpose of this study was to identify the impact of TV news on the perception and processing of emotional footage of a historical documentary. We noted that the emotional frames taken from TV news stories are relatively weak emotional stimuli compared to the emotional frames of historical documentary. The subjects exposed to the pre-stimulus evaluated the Holocaust pictures as more unpleasant and more activating than those not exposed it. The event-related potentials (ERP) recorded during the presentation of the negative (historical) images had various amplitudes of oscillations due to the preliminary affective impact of TV news footage. The amplitude of the frontal ERP component that related to the decision-making (P300) was bigger in the group without preliminary exposure to the emotional TV news frames due to the reduced sensitivity to the content of images. In this case, the historical images attracted less attention and demanded less emotional effort for emotional evaluation of visual information, analysis, retrieval of information from memory and semantic processes, namely searching for the meaning of the pictures (occipital P300 and the late positive potential). Short-term media effects include alterations of sensitivity towards the emotional content of visual information.
Keywords: Emotion; violence; Holocaust TV news;
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