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Event-Related Brain Potentials from Pictures Relevant to Disaster Education

Angeliki Tsiara, Tassos A. Mikropoulos, Dimitris Mavridis, Julien Mercier

Decision-making can be regarded as a cognitive process integrated in our interaction with the environment. This interaction comprises of a plethora of sensory or mental stimuli. Among them, visual awareness and semantic recognition during decision-making tasks are of main importance. Nowadays, disaster education becomes a part of the curricula to foster a more resilient population, and relevant research emerges. The purpose of this exploratory study was to investigate visual awareness and semantic recognition during a visual decision-making task concerning earthquakes, by measuring brain activity and especially event-related potentials. The task consisted of digital images, representing useful and non-useful items constituting a survival kit in case of an earthquake. The subjects, seven adult males, had to distinguish between those useful and non-useful items. A late positive component (P300) and an early posterior negativity (N200) were studied since they are the most prominent components for categorization tasks. Our results suggested that participants distinguished the useful items in a series of non-useful stimuli based on their semantic content. These preliminary results indicate that these stimuli could be integrated in an educational digital environment concerning disaster preparedness.

The final publication is available at Springer via https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-67615-9_13