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Asymmetry of affect in verbal irony understanding: What about the N400 and P600 components?

Abstract : We investigated the neurocognitive processes behind the asymmetry of affect observed in irony understanding, where ironic criticism is more easily understood than ironic praise. We recorded the ERPs of participants while they listened to positive (e.g., “These children are always smiling”) or negative (e.g., “His son is very unfortunate”) remarks pronounced with a sincere or ironic prosody. Participants had to decide whether or not the speaker was sincere. Behavioural results confirmed the asymmetry of affect phenomenon and ERP results revealed that the N400 and P600 were differentially sensitive to the negative or positive emotional connotations of the speaker's messages. These findings shed new light on the cognitive processes behind biphasic N400/P600 cycles, and how they are differentially affected by negativity.
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Submitted on : Friday, October 22, 2021 - 8:07:25 PM
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Stéphanie Caillies, Pamela Gobin, Alexandre Obert, Sarah Terrien, Alexandre Coutté, et al.. Asymmetry of affect in verbal irony understanding: What about the N400 and P600 components?. Journal of Neurolinguistics, Elsevier, 2019, 51, pp.268-277. ⟨10.1016/j.jneuroling.2019.04.004⟩. ⟨hal-02397329⟩



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