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The voices of wrath: brain responses to angry prosody in meaningless speech


We report two functional magnetic resonance imaging experiments showing enhanced responses in human middle superior temporal sulcus for angry relative to neutral prosody. This emotional enhancement was voice specific, unrelated to isolated acoustic amplitude or frequency cues in angry prosody, and distinct from any concomitant task-related attentional modulation. Attention and emotion seem to have separate effects on stimulus processing, reflecting a fundamental principle of human brain organization shared by voice and face perception.

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Figure 1: Cortical activations elicited by spatial attention and emotional prosody.


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We thank T. Bänziger for helpful discussions. Supported by grants from the Swiss National Foundations (K.S., P.V. and S.S.).

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Correspondence to Didier Grandjean.

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Grandjean, D., Sander, D., Pourtois, G. et al. The voices of wrath: brain responses to angry prosody in meaningless speech. Nat Neurosci 8, 145–146 (2005).

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