Color perception influences attention processing in females with different attachment styles

  • Yuanxiao Ma
  • Na Hu
  • Xing Zhang
  • Guangzeng Liu
  • Xu ChenEmail author


Secure and insecure attachment are associated with different patterns of attention to infant emotions. However, accumulating evidence suggests that color perception influences emotional processing, especially the color red, which may represent threatening information. To explore whether the red color context has a modulating effect on attention processing of infant emotions between adult females with insecure attachment and those with secure attachment, the brain activity was measured using event-related potentials. We found that, relative to a green context, a red context elevated the early attention vigilance (P1 amplitude) to neutral infant faces in anxious females and, later, motivation attention (P3 amplitude) to neutral infant faces in secure females compared to avoidant females. Furthermore, a red context also elevated the P1 amplitude to crying infant faces in avoidant females. The present findings suggested that a red context, which may represent threatening information, elicits processing defects in attention to infant emotions in anxious and avoidant females, whereas it produces an enhanced effect on attention function in secure females.


Color context Attention processing Infant facial expression Attachment style Event-related potentials 



The research was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) Grant number 31771232 and Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (No. SWU1809353).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Nothing to declare.


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Authors and Affiliations

  • Yuanxiao Ma
    • 1
    • 2
  • Na Hu
    • 3
  • Xing Zhang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Guangzeng Liu
    • 1
  • Xu Chen
    • 1
    • 2
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.Faculty of PsychologySouthwest University (SWU)ChongqingChina
  2. 2.Chongqing Collaborative Innovation Center For Brain ScienceChongqingChina
  3. 3.School of Psychology and Cognitive ScienceEast China Normal UniversityShanghaiChina
  4. 4.Key Laboratory of Cognition and Personality of Ministry of Education, Faculty of PsychologySouthwest UniversityChongqingChina

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