Tid: Onsdagen 28 november 2018, kl. 15:00-17:00
Plats: C307, Södra huset, Frescati

Postseminarium följer direkt efter seminariet i institutionens pentry.


Prosody is crucial for communication. It is exploited not only to encode lexical meaning and syntactic structure but also to convey emotions. The function of prosody is thus two-fold: symbolic and affective, which are both auditory phenomena that acquire meaning through changes in physical attributes such as duration, amplitude, and frequency, and are processed in parallel as communication unfolds over time. Given that both symbolic and affective cues are rooted in the same prosodic variables, a major issue in comprehending human communication is to determine how the brain handles multiple acoustic cues concurrently to extract symbolic and affective information from speech. Moreover, being cognitively demanding, symbolic processing is often attributed to cortical structures, whereas affect is considered subcortical. Given that subcortical function dynamically interacts with higher-level cognitive processes, it is crucial to explore how subcortical processes related to affective prosody influence the neural response to symbolic cues in cortical areas. In this talk, I will first give an overview of our previous EEG research, which has demonstrated the contribution of lexical-symbolic prosody on cortical speech processing. I will then move on to our recent project where we investigate the neural responses to concurrent lexical-symbolic and affective prosody to see if basic subcortical affective system has an impact on neocortical expansions that are crucial for speech-related processing mechanisms. Such knowledge will be an important step in exploring the evolution of speech-like communication, with important implications for the areas of cognition, learning and social biology.

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Hatice Zora