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 indi... read morecated 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