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Title: Effects of reader's facial expression on syntactic processing: A brain potential study
Authors: Jiménez-Ortega, Laura
Badaya, Esperanza
Hernández-Gutiérrez, David
Silvera Roig, Marta 
Espuny, Javier
Garcia, José Sánchez
Fondevila, Sabela
Muñoz, Francisco Muñoz
Casado, Pilar
Martín-Loeches, Manuel
UNESCO Clasification: 32 Ciencias médicas
6199 Otras especialidades psicológicas (Especificar)
241114 Fisiología del lenguaje
Keywords: Embodied Emotions
Language Comprehension
Syntactic Processing
Issue Date: 2020
Journal: Brain Research
Abstract: Embodied views of language support that facial sensorimotor information can modulate language comprehension. The aim of this study is to test whether the syntactic processing of simple sentences, as measured with event-related brain potentials (ERP), could be affected by reader's facial expressions. Participants performed a correctness decision task using sentences that could be either correct (50%) or contain a morphosyntactic disagreement (either in gender or number), while making one of four facial expressions: participants either (a) posed no facial expression (“control” condition) (b) brought their eyebrows together, making the ends of two golf tees touch (“frown” condition), (c) held a pencil with their teeth (“smile” condition), or (d) held the pencil using their lips (“non-smile” condition). In all conditions the customary left anterior negativities did not appear. In contrast, an N400-like component emerged, which was larger for the “frown” condition and reduced in the “smile” and “non-smile” conditions. These results can be interpreted as the consequence of either an unconscious emotion induction or an interplay between the motor and the language systems subsequent to the effort needed to hold the facial expression.
ISSN: 1872-6240
DOI: 10.1016/j.brainres.2020.146745
Source: Brain Research [ISSN 1872-6240], v. 1736
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