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date: 23 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Emotional communication is a key component of human social interactions. Listeners need to rapidly decode emotionally relevant signals and adapt their behaviour accordingly. This chapter summarizes recent findings on the time course underlying vocal emotion processing, with a particular focus on suprasegmental information as expressed by the voice and intonation in speech. Evidence from both behavioural investigations and electrophysiological (EEG) recordings confirms that vocal emotion processing includes early rapid—most likely involuntary—appraisal, as well as enhanced cognitive emotional meaning evaluation. Reviewed findings also suggest that influences such as task demands, individual differences, as well as social-psychological factors can alter the identified processing steps. In short, findings suggest that emotional vocal expression processing is a multi-layered process which follows a distinct time course.

Keywords: emotional prosody, time course, multi-step model, voice, ERP, behavioural finding

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