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Title: When vocal processing gets emotional: On the role of social orientation in relevance detection by the human amygdala
Authors: Schirmer, A. 
Escoffier, N. 
Zysset, S.
Friederici, A.D.
Koester, D.
Striano, T.
Keywords: Affective
Deviance detection
Mismatch negativity
Sex differences
Issue Date: 2008
Citation: Schirmer, A., Escoffier, N., Zysset, S., Friederici, A.D., Koester, D., Striano, T. (2008). When vocal processing gets emotional: On the role of social orientation in relevance detection by the human amygdala. NeuroImage 40 (3) : 1402-1410. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Previous work on vocal emotional processing provided little evidence for involvement of emotional processing areas such as the amygdala or the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC). Here, we sought to specify whether involvement of these areas depends on how relevant vocal expressions are for the individual. To this end, we assessed participants' social orientation - a measure of the interest and concern for other individuals and hence the relevance of social signals. We then presented task-irrelevant syllable sequences that contained rare changes in tone of voice that could be emotional or neutral. Processing differences between emotional and neutral vocal change in the right amygdala and the bilateral OFC were significantly correlated with the social orientation measure. Specifically, higher social orientation scores were associated with enhanced amygdala and OFC activity to emotional as compared to neutral change. Given the presumed role of the amygdala in the detection of emotionally relevant information, our results suggest that social orientation enhances this detection process and the activation of emotional representations mediated by the OFC. Moreover, social orientation may predict listener responses to vocal emotional cues and explain interindividual variability in vocal emotional processing. © 2008 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Source Title: NeuroImage
ISSN: 10538119
DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2008.01.018
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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