Processing of Affective Prosody and Lexical-Semantics in Spoken Utterances as Differentiated by Event-Related Potentials

Document Type


Publication Date



In the current study, event-related potentials (ERPs) were utilized to assess whether ERP correlates would distinguish between prosodic and lexical-semantic information processed during the comprehension of a spoken affective message. To this end, we employed a standard oddball paradigm with stimuli varying in lexical-semantic or prosodic characteristics. An N400 component was obtained in response to all stimuli and conditions (non-targets and targets). Greater negativity in the N400 amplitude was observed in response to semantic as compared to prosodic stimuli. An anterior (P3a) positive component was increased for prosodic as compared to semantic targets. We also investigated whether an N400 and/or P3a component would be present when a stimulus carried affective semantic and affective prosodic information. The ERP structure observed in response to targets of this condition showed a reduction in the amplitude of the N400 component and an explicit anterior P3a component, significantly greater than the P3a component in response to prosodic or semantic targets. Finally, a P3b component was evoked in response to targets, regardless of communicative dimension.



This document is currently not available here.