Facial expressions modulate the time course of long latency auditory brain potentials

G.R.C. Pourtois, D. Debatisse, P.A. Despland, B. de Gelder

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Long latency auditory brain potentials were recorded while subjects listened to bi-syllabic words spoken with an emotional expression and concurrently viewed congruent or incongruent facial expressions. Analysis of the auditory waveforms suggests the existence of a positive deflection around 240 ms post-stimulus with a clear posterior topography (the P2b component). This potential is subsequent upon the modality-specific auditory N1¿P2 components and precedes the amodal N2¿P3 complex. Congruent face-voice trials elicited an earlier P2b component than incongruent trials suggesting that auditory processing is delayed in the presence of an incongruent facial context. These electrophysiological results are consistent with previous behavioural studies showing an acceleration of reaction times for rating voice expressions that are part of congruent bimodal stimulus pairs. A source localisation analysis performed on the scalp EEG during the time-window corresponding to the P2b component disclosed a single dipole solution in the anterior cingulate cortex.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-105
JournalCognitive Brain Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2002


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