Speech Prosody 2008

Campinas, Brazil
May 6-9, 2008

Cerebral Processing of Emotional Prosody: A Network Model Based on fMRI Studies

Dirk Wildgruber (1), Thomas Ethofer (1), Benjamin Kreifelts (1), Didier Grandjean (2)

(1) Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University of Tübingen, Germany
(2) Swiss Center for Affective Sciences, University of Geneva, Switzerland

Comprehension of information conveyed by emotional tone of speech is highly important for successful social interactions. Regarding the underlying neurobiological mechanisms, successive steps of cerebral processing involving auditory analysis within the temporal cortex and evaluative judgements within the frontal lobes have been differentiated (Schirmer & Kotz, 2006; Wildgruber et al., 2006). To further disentangle the impact of stimulus properties and appraisal levels a series of fMRI studies has been performed. The results of these studies indicate a strong association of cerebral responses and acoustic properties of the stimuli in some regions (stimulusdriven effects), whereas other areas showed modulation of activation linked to the focussing of attention to specific task components (task-dependent effects). Based on these findings a refined model of prosody processing and cross-modal integration of emotional signals from face and voice is postulated.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Wildgruber, Dirk / Ethofer, Thomas / Kreifelts, Benjamin / Grandjean, Didier (2008): "Cerebral processing of emotional prosody: a network model based on fMRI studies", In SP-2008, 217-222.