Poster Session C, Sunday, March 24, 5:00 – 7:00 pm, Pacific Concourse
Embodied emotion correlates with personality traits- A study with somatosensory- evoked potentials
Vasiliki Meletaki1, Beatriz Calvo-Merino1, Irena Arslanova1, Bettina Forster1; 1City, University of London
The present study aimed to link the neural correlates of embodiment with personality traits such as emotional wellbeing, ability to understand emotions (namely alexithymia) and interoception using a neural index of emotions. Participants were presented with stimuli of faces expressing happiness, anger, sadness and neutral, while measuring their electrophysiological activity. An embodiment index was calculated by measuring participants’ somatosensory-evoked activity by tactually probing (105 ms. post-visual facial stimuli) the state of SCx during an emotion discrimination task while controlling for visual effects (Sel et al., 2014). Additionally, we measured participant’s levels of depression and alexithymia (by means of Beck Depression Inventory and the Toronto Alexithymia Scale respectively). In the SEPs data, significant differences were found in amplitude between all four emotions (happiness, anger, sadness and neutral) over the somatosensory cortices between 100-120ms, following previous data on embodied emotion over somatosensory cortices (Sel et al., 2014). Interestingly, we also found significant correlation between depression scores and the SEPs amplitude of sad emotion (calculated by subtracting the amplitude of neutral condition from the emotion condition). These data provide novel evidence for relating neural somatosensory activity directly liked to embodied emotions (and independent form carry over visual effects), to subjective measures and personality traits, such as depression.
Topic Area: PERCEPTION & ACTION: Vision