On the Role of the Limbic Brain System in Recognizing Emotions From Paralinguistic Speech Features

Konferenz: Speech Communication - 12. ITG-Fachtagung Sprachkommunikation
05.10.2016 - 07.10.2016 in Paderborn, Deutschland

Tagungsband: ITG-Fb. 267: Speech Communication

Seiten: 4Sprache: EnglischTyp: PDF

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Fruehholz, Sascha (Department of Psychology, University of Zurich, 8050 Zurich; Neuroscience Center Zurich, University of Zurich and ETH Zurich, 8050 Switzerland; Center for Integrative Human Physiology (ZIHP), University of Zurich, Switzerland)

The neural processing of emotions expressed in the paralinguistic features of speech (i.e. affective prosody) involves a distributed network of brain regions, consisting of the auditory cortex, the inferior frontal cortex, and the amygdala. The amygdala has a central position in this network, and its functional role in processing affective prosody will be discussed in three perspectives. First, neuroimaging studies in healthy individuals revealed activity of the amygdala in response to affective prosody. Second, studies reported impairments in the processing of affective prosody in patients suffering from amygdala lesions. Third, patients with amygdala lesions revealed an impaired auditory cortical processing of affective prosody, probably based on a missing distant influence of amygdala activity on cortical processing of sensory stimuli, which is usually found in healthy individuals. These data from healthy individuals and from neurological patients point to a central role of the amygdala in processing emotions from paralinguistic speech features.