Poster C123, Sunday, March 25, 1:00-3:00 pm, Exhibit Hall C
Emotional prosody modulates neural sensitivity to speech discrimination
Yang Zhang1, Chieh Kao1, Erin Diamond2; 1University of Minnesota, 2North Memorial Health Care
Our recent cross-modal priming study on cortical mechanisms of speech processing revealed distinct patterns of hemispheric laterality and neural oscillation for the N400 and late positive response during phonetic vs. emotional congruency judgment. The present event-related potential (ERP) investigation employed a passive listening multi-feature oddball paradigm to examine whether phonetic processing interacted with emotional processing at an earlier stage independent of attention. The participants were 24 normal adults. The syllable /bab/ spoken in a neutral tone served as the standard for the oddball paradigm, and the five deviants were respectively /bab/ in a happy or sad tone and /gab/ in a neutral, happy or sad tone. For the three deviants with either phonetic or prosodic contrast, the phonetic contrast produced a robust mismatch negativity (MMN) response at approximately 300 ms, the sad tone elicited a MMN with similar latency, and the happy tone showed an earlier positive mismatch response followed by a negative response. For the two deviants with dual contrasts, both showed a much earlier MMN response (prior to 150 ms) and a late negativity (after 400 ms). These ERP data provide converging evidence that emotional prosody interacts with phonetic processing both at the early pre-attentive level and at later processing stages. Furthermore, neural sensitivity to speech discrimination can be modulated by variations in emotional prosody.
Topic Area: LANGUAGE: Other