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Isolating N400 as neural marker of vocal anger processing in 6-11-year old children Seminar

16:00 - 17:00
1 December 2011
Shackleton Building (bldg. 44), level 3, room 3095. Tea and coffee will be served in the iZone (room 3096) from 15.45.

For more information regarding this seminar, please telephone Barbara Seiter on 02380 595578 or email .

Event details

Vocal anger is a salient social signal serving adaptive functions in typical child development. Despite recent advances in the developmental neuroscience of emotion processing with regard to visual stimuli, little remains known about the neural correlates of vocal anger processing in childhood.

This study represents the first attempt to isolate a neural marker of vocal anger processing in children using electrophysiological methods. In addition, we explored the correlations between symptoms of psychopathology and individual differences in neural responses to vocal anger. We compared ERP wave forms during the processing of non-word emotional vocal stimuli in a population sample of 60 6-11-year-old-children selected to include a range of types and severity of symptoms of psychopathology. Children listened to three types of stimuli expressing angry, happy, and neutral prosody and completed an emotion identification task with three response options (angry, happy and neutral/ ‘ok’). A distinctive N400 component which was modulated by emotional content of vocal stimulus was observed in children over parietal and occipital scalp regions - amplitudes were significantly attenuated to angry compared to happy and neutral voices. There was a trend towards the size of anger-related N400 modulation related to child emotion dysregulation and conduct problems as rated by parents. Implications for studies of the neural basis of vocal anger processing in children and links to psychopathology are discussed.

Speaker information

Georgia Chronaki,PhD research student

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