Disentangling the brain networks supporting affective speech comprehension

Pierre-Yves Hervé, Annick Razafimandimby, Mathieu Vigneau, Bernard Mazoyer, Nathalie Tzourio-Mazoyer
NeuroImage. 2012-07-01; 61(4): 1255-1267
DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2012.03.073

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1. Neuroimage. 2012 Jul 16;61(4):1255-67. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2012.03.073.
Epub 2012 Mar 30.

Disentangling the brain networks supporting affective speech comprehension.

Hervé PY(1), Razafimandimby A, Vigneau M, Mazoyer B, Tzourio-Mazoyer N.

Author information:
(1)Univ. Bordeaux, Groupe d’Imagerie Neurofonctionnelle, UMR 5296, F-33000
Bordeaux, France.

Areas involved in social cognition, such as the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC)
and the left temporo-parietal junction (TPJ) appear to be active during the
classification of sentences according to emotional criteria (happy, angry or sad,
[Beaucousin et al., 2007]). These two regions are frequently co-activated in
studies about theory of mind (ToM). To confirm that these regions constitute a
coherent network during affective speech comprehension, new event-related
functional magnetic resonance imaging data were acquired, using the emotional and
grammatical-person sentence classification tasks on a larger sample of 51
participants. The comparison of the emotional and grammatical tasks confirmed the
previous findings. Functional connectivity analyses established a clear
demarcation between a « Medial » network, including the mPFC and TPJ regions, and a
bilateral « Language » network, which gathered inferior frontal and temporal areas.
These findings suggest that emotional speech comprehension results from
interactions between language, ToM and emotion processing networks. The language
network, active during both tasks, would be involved in the extraction of lexical
and prosodic emotional cues, while the medial network, active only during the
emotional task, would drive the making of inferences about the sentences’
emotional content, based on their meanings. The left and right amygdalae
displayed a stronger response during the emotional condition, but were seldom
correlated with the other regions, and thus formed a third entity. Finally,
distinct regions belonging to the Language and Medial networks were found in the
left angular gyrus, where these two systems could interface.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2012.03.073
PMID: 22507230 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Auteurs Bordeaux Neurocampus