Effects of emotional state on processing conceptual mismatches: ERPs in a picture-sentence matching task
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SourceJournal of Behavioral and Brain Science, 7, 12, (2017), article 80470
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI OLO
Journal of Behavioral and Brain Science
SubjectDI-BCB_DCC_Theme 1: Language and Communication; Learning and Plasticity; Psycholinguistics
Event-related potential (ERP) studies demonstrated that emotional state immediately affects the processing of different linguistic mismatches (e.g., semantic and syntactic mismatches) in sentences. Furthermore, mood has been shown to impact discourse processing. In these studies, a strong expectancy was evoked by a linguistic context. In the present study, a strong expectancy was induced by a visual (non-linguistic) context paired with a sentence. A spatial array was followed by a sentence that matched (pi - The square stands in front of the circle) or mismatched the picture (intra-dimensional mismatch: pi- The square stands behind the circle; extra-dimensional mismatch: pi - The square stands above the circle). The main question was whether mood effects on the processing of visually induced expectancies are similar or different from mood effects on the processing of linguistically induced expectancies. To this aim, we presented conceptual (mis)matches that differed in saliency: intra-dimensional vs. extra-dimensional mismatches which are both reported to elicit an N2b/N400 and P600, reflecting reanalysis. EEG was recorded while participants read for comprehension. Mood (happy vs. sad) was effectively induced by film clips. Neither for N2b/N400 nor for P600, an interaction between mood and match was observed. Thus, in contrast with studies investigating the effects of pure linguistic mismatches (linguistic context paired with unexpected lexical item), mood did not modulate the processing of conceptual mismatches. However, a main effect of match revealed different ERP patterns for the two mismatches. While an increase in N2b/ N400 occurred for the intra-dimensional and extra-dimensional mismatches, a P600 only occurred to the extra-dimensional (more salient) mismatches. This finding is taken as support that being in an emotional state (positive or negative mood) influences processes of reanalysis. That is, when being in an emotional state, a reanalysis (monitoring) process is exclusively triggered by salient mismatches.
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