Effects of valence and arousal on written word recognition: Time course and ERP correlates
Citron, F. M. M., Weekes, B. S., Ferstl, E. C. – 2013
Models of affect assume a two-dimensional framework, composed of emotional valence and arousal. Although neuroimaging evidence supports a neuro-functional distinction of their effects during single word processing, electrophysiological studies have not yet compared the effects of arousal within the same category of valence (positive and negative). Here we investigate effects of arousal and valence on written lexical decision. Amplitude differences between emotion and neutral words were seen in the early posterior negativity (EPN), the late positive complex and in a sustained slow positivity. In addition, trends toward interactive effects of valence and arousal were observed in the EPN, showing larger amplitude for positive, high-arousal and negative, low-arousal words. The results provide initial evidence for interactions between arousal and valence during processing of positive words and highlight the importance of both variables in studies of emotional stimulus processing.