Abstract: In a series of three neuroimaging studies, we investigated how dimensions of emotional meaning (Valence and Arousal) are comprehended and associated during language processing, using event-related potentials. In experiments 1 and 2, we implemented a full crossing of Valence (pleasant, unpleasant, and neutral) and Arousal (high, low) in a large sample of single words. Our results indicate... read mored that valence and arousal appear to be processed independently during extended evaluations of motivational significance (which drives the late positivity). Importantly, the late positivity seemed to dynamically reflect immediate motivational significance, as evidenced by a clear task effect. In experiment 3, we explored whether affective relationships were treated similarly to other forms of semantic relationships during the processing of word pairs, by implementing a full crossing of affective priming (same valence vs. opposite valence) and semantic priming (associated, unassociated). We found no evidence that affective priming relies on lexico-semantic processes.
Thesis (M.S.)--Tufts University, 2013.
Submitted to the Dept. of Psychology.
Advisor: Gina Kuperberg.
Committee: Phil Holcomb, Heather Urry, and Ellen Lau.
Keywords: Neurosciences, Psychology, and Cognitive psychology.read less