A1 Journal article – refereed
Hemodynamic responses to emotional speech in two-month-old infants imaged using diffuse optical tomography

List of Authors: Shekhar S, Maria A, Kotilahti K, Huotilainen M, Heiskala J, Tuulari JT, Hirvi P, Karlsson L, Karlsson H, Nissilä I
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
Publication year: 2019
Journal: Scientific Reports
Journal name in source: Scientific Reports
Volume number: 9
ISSN: 2045-2322


Emotional speech is one of the principal forms of social communication
in humans. In this study, we investigated neural processing of emotional
speech (happy, angry, sad and neutral) in the left hemisphere of 21
two-month-old infants using diffuse optical tomography. Reconstructed
total hemoglobin (HbT) images were analysed using adaptive voxel-based
clustering and region-of-interest (ROI) analysis. We found a distributed
happy > neutral response within the temporo-parietal cortex, peaking
in the anterior temporal cortex; a negative HbT response to emotional
speech (the average of the emotional speech conditions < baseline) in
the temporo-parietal cortex, neutral > angry in the anterior
superior temporal sulcus (STS), happy > angry in the superior
temporal gyrus and posterior superior temporal sulcus, angry <
baseline in the insula, superior temporal sulcus and superior temporal
gyrus and happy < baseline in the anterior insula. These results
suggest that left STS is more sensitive to happy speech as compared to
angry speech, indicating that it might play an important role in
processing positive emotions in two-month-old infants. Furthermore,
happy speech (relative to neutral) seems to elicit more activation in
the temporo-parietal cortex, thereby suggesting enhanced sensitivity of
temporo-parietal cortex to positive emotional stimuli at this stage of
infant development.

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Last updated on 2019-21-08 at 20:06

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