FMRI study of emotional speech comprehension

V. Beaucousin, A. Lacheret, M.-R. Turbelin, M. Morel, B. Mazoyer, N. Tzourio-Mazoyer
Cerebral Cortex. 2006-02-22; 17(2): 339-352
DOI: 10.1093/cercor/bhj151

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1. Cereb Cortex. 2007 Feb;17(2):339-52. Epub 2006 Mar 8.

FMRI study of emotional speech comprehension.

Beaucousin V(1), Lacheret A, Turbelin MR, Morel M, Mazoyer B, Tzourio-Mazoyer N.

Author information:
(1)Groupe d’Imagerie Neurofonctionnelle, UMR6194, Centre National de la Recherche
Schientifique/CEA/Universités Caen et Paris 5, France.

Little is known about the neural correlates of affective prosody in the context
of affective semantic discourse. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to
investigate this issue while subjects performed 1) affective classification of
sentences having an affective semantic content and 2) grammatical classification
of sentences with neutral semantic content. Sentences of each type were produced
half by actors and half by a text-to-speech software lacking affective prosody.
Compared with neutral sentences processing, sentences with affective semantic
content–with or without affective prosody–led to an increase in activation of a
left inferior frontal area involved in the retrieval of semantic knowledge. In
addition, the posterior part of the left superior temporal sulcus (STS) together
with the medial prefrontal cortex were recruited, although not activated by
neutral sentences classification. Interestingly, these areas have been described
as implicated during self-reflection or other’s mental state inference that
possibly occurred during the affective classification task. When affective
prosody was present, additional rightward activations of the human-selective
voice area and the posterior part of STS were observed, corresponding to the
processing of speaker’s voice emotional content. Accurate affective
communication, central to social interactions, requires the cooperation of
semantics, affective prosody, and mind-reading neural networks.

DOI: 10.1093/cercor/bhj151
PMID: 16525130 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Auteurs Bordeaux Neurocampus