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PLoS One. 2012;7(2):e31001. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0031001. Epub 2012 Feb 22.

Emotional cues during simultaneous face and voice processing: electrophysiological insights.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai, China.

Abstract

Both facial expression and tone of voice represent key signals of emotional communication but their brain processing correlates remain unclear. Accordingly, we constructed a novel implicit emotion recognition task consisting of simultaneously presented human faces and voices with neutral, happy, and angry valence, within the context of recognizing monkey faces and voices task. To investigate the temporal unfolding of the processing of affective information from human face-voice pairings, we recorded event-related potentials (ERPs) to these audiovisual test stimuli in 18 normal healthy subjects; N100, P200, N250, P300 components were observed at electrodes in the frontal-central region, while P100, N170, P270 were observed at electrodes in the parietal-occipital region. Results indicated a significant audiovisual stimulus effect on the amplitudes and latencies of components in frontal-central (P200, P300, and N250) but not the parietal occipital region (P100, N170 and P270). Specifically, P200 and P300 amplitudes were more positive for emotional relative to neutral audiovisual stimuli, irrespective of valence, whereas N250 amplitude was more negative for neutral relative to emotional stimuli. No differentiation was observed between angry and happy conditions. The results suggest that the general effect of emotion on audiovisual processing can emerge as early as 200 msec (P200 peak latency) post stimulus onset, in spite of implicit affective processing task demands, and that such effect is mainly distributed in the frontal-central region.

PMID:
22383987
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3285164
Free PMC Article

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