ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

心理学报 ›› 2022, Vol. 54 ›› Issue (2): 111-121.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2022.00111

• 研究报告 •    下一篇


罗文波(), 齐正阳   

  1. 辽宁师范大学脑与认知神经科学研究中心, 大连 116029
  • 收稿日期:2020-11-10 出版日期:2022-02-25 发布日期:2021-12-24
  • 通讯作者: 罗文波
  • 基金资助:

The influence of concreteness on emotional nouns valence processing: An ERP study

LUO Wenbo(), QI Zhengyang   

  1. Brain and Cognitive Neuroscience Research Center, Liaoning Normal University, Dalian 116029, China
  • Received:2020-11-10 Online:2022-02-25 Published:2021-12-24
  • Contact: LUO Wenbo


具体性和抽象性是词汇同一特性的两极, 是直接影响词汇加工过程的重要因素。本研究采用快速序列视觉呈现范式, 结合脑电技术探讨在有限注意资源内, 词汇具体性对情绪名词加工过程的影响。结果发现:名词加工早期和晚期阶段的ERP成分受到情绪效价的调节, 情绪词比中性词诱发了更大的N170和LPC波幅; 名词加工早期和晚期阶段的ERP成分也受到词汇具体性的调节, 具体词比抽象词诱发了更大的N170和LPC波幅; 词汇具体性影响情绪名词加工的晚期阶段, LPC波幅能够分辨出不同情绪效价的抽象词, 对于具体词仅能区分出情绪与非情绪, 这说明抽象词可能比具体词负载了更多的情绪信息, 反映出对情绪信息的精细加工过程。

关键词: 情绪名词, 词汇具体性, 快速序列视觉呈现范式, 事件相关电位


Rapid responses to emotional words play a considerable role in human social communication. It has been reported that individuals have an advantage to process emotional words in comparison with neutral words. While it is crucial to distinguish between words that convey concrete concepts and abstract concepts in emotional words processing, because many studies have found that concrete words (e.g., “desk”) are processed more quickly and efficiently than abstract words (e.g., “truth”), which is termed as the concreteness effects. However, much is known about the representation and processing of concrete concepts, our understanding of abstract concepts is limited, and the way in which abstract concepts are represented has received a great deal of research interest. Recent research has found an “abstractness effect”, that is, a processing advantage of abstract words over concrete words, suggesting the role of affective information in the representation of abstract concepts.
In the present study, we distinguished emotional nouns into concrete concepts and abstract concepts to explore potential differences in processing, as measured by event-related potentials. A dual-target RSVP task was employed to explore the processing stages of concrete and abstract nouns in the limited attention context. A total of 24 right-handed participants (8 males) aged from 18 to 30 years old took part in this study in exchange for payment. Brain electrical activity was recorded by a 64-channel system composing of tin electrodes mounted in an elastic cap according to the international 10-20 System. In addition to behavioral responses, P1, N170, and LPC components were selected as indicators of early and late processing stages of emotional nouns.
The behavioral results showed that there was no concreteness effect or abstractness effect of emotional nouns in the context of limited attentional resources, while it reflected a “negative bias” for emotion effect. ERP results suggested N170 component was modulated by emotion valence and concreteness, that emotional nouns elicited significantly larger N170 amplitude than neutral nouns, and concrete nouns elicited significantly larger N170 amplitude than abstract nouns. Above two modulation patterns of N170 component were observed in the left hemisphere, but not in the right hemisphere. LPC component was also modulated by emotion valence and concreteness, that emotional nouns elicited significantly LPC amplitude than neutral nouns, while in contrast to previous studies, concrete nouns elicited significantly larger LPC amplitude than abstract nouns, which might reflect the attention resource allocation or the effect of emotional information on concreteness effect. Last but not least, there was an interaction effect between concreteness and emotion valence, that positive, negative, and neutral of abstract nouns could be distinguished by LPC amplitude respectively, while it could only differentiate emotional concrete nouns from non-emotional nouns. The late stage of emotional noun processing was in accordance with the abstractness effect.
Emotion valence and concreteness both modulate the ERP components in the early and late stages of noun processing in the limited attention context. In the late processing stage, LPC amplitude distinguishing abstract nouns with different valence, which indicates that abstract nouns had more emotional valence than concrete nouns, and provides electrophysiological evidence for the view that abstract words contain more emotional information.

Key words: emotional nouns, concreteness, RSVP, event-related potential