ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2019, Vol. 27 ›› Issue (11): 1842-1852.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2019.01842

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The processing of emotional words and its emotional effect characteristics: Evidence from ERP studies

WANG Xia1, LU Jiamei1(), CHEN Wuying2   

  1. 1 School of Education, Shanghai Normal University, Shanghai 200235, China
    2 School of Educational Science, Jiangsu Normal University, Xuzhou 221116, China
  • Received:2019-02-28 Online:2019-10-31 Published:2019-09-23
  • Contact: Jiamei LU


Language plays an important role in the exchange of emotional information. The processing of emotional language has always been the focus of emotional research. Some main views and results on emotional words processing from ERP data are analyzed and summarized: including ERP components and relationship between valence and arousal, as well as emotional effect characteristics. ERP components related to emotional word processing encompass very early P1-N1 components, early EPN components, and late LPP components. Emotional valence and arousal dimensions have shown to function as two significant factors in emotional word processing. Their relationship, however, remains undetermined. Compared with emotional pictures, emotional word processing exerts a weaker emotional effect, showing a bias towards positive valence. Future studies are required to explore relevant factors influencing emotional effect of emotional word processing, to distinguish emotional-laden words from emotional-label words, and to analyze the processing of these two types of emotional words. In addition, it is also an important topic for a future research to elucidate the emotional word processing mechanism in natural context reading by using eye-tracking technique.

Key words: emotional words, valence, arousal, ERPs

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