Previous inconsistencies on the effects of implicitly processing positively - vs. negatively - connotated emotional words might reflect the influence of uncontrolled psycholinguistic dimensions, and/or social facets inherent in putative “emotional” stimuli. Based on the relevance of social features in semantic cognition, we developed a socio-emotional Stroop task to assess the influence of social vs. individual (non-social) emotional content, besides negative vs. positive valence, on implicit word processing. The effect of these variables was evaluated in terms of performance and RTs, alongside associated brain activity/connectivity. We matched conditions for several psycholinguistic variables, and assessed a modulation of brain activity/connectivity by trial-wise RT, to characterize the maximum of condition- and subject-specific variability. RTs were tracked by insular and anterior cingulate activations likely reflecting implicit attention to stimuli, interfering with task-performance based on condition-specific processing of their subjective salience. Slower performance for negative than neutral/positive words was tracked by left-hemispheric structures processing negative stimuli and emotions, such as fronto-insular cortex, while the lack of specific activations for positively-connotated words supported their marginal facilitatory effect. The speeding/slowing effects of processing positive/negative individual emotional stimuli were enhanced by social words, reflecting in specific activations of the right anterior temporal and orbitofrontal cortex, respectively. RTs to social positive and negative words modulated connectivity from these regions to fronto-striatal and sensorimotor structures, respectively, likely promoting approach vs. avoidance dispositions shaping their facilitatory vs. inhibitory effect. These results might help assessing the neural correlates of impaired social cognition and emotional regulation, and the effects of rehabilitative interventions.

(2021). Fronto-temporal brain activity and connectivity track implicit attention to positive and negative social words in a novel socio-emotional Stroop task [journal article - articolo]. In NEUROIMAGE. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10446/235474

Fronto-temporal brain activity and connectivity track implicit attention to positive and negative social words in a novel socio-emotional Stroop task

Arioli, Maria;
2021-01-01

Abstract

Previous inconsistencies on the effects of implicitly processing positively - vs. negatively - connotated emotional words might reflect the influence of uncontrolled psycholinguistic dimensions, and/or social facets inherent in putative “emotional” stimuli. Based on the relevance of social features in semantic cognition, we developed a socio-emotional Stroop task to assess the influence of social vs. individual (non-social) emotional content, besides negative vs. positive valence, on implicit word processing. The effect of these variables was evaluated in terms of performance and RTs, alongside associated brain activity/connectivity. We matched conditions for several psycholinguistic variables, and assessed a modulation of brain activity/connectivity by trial-wise RT, to characterize the maximum of condition- and subject-specific variability. RTs were tracked by insular and anterior cingulate activations likely reflecting implicit attention to stimuli, interfering with task-performance based on condition-specific processing of their subjective salience. Slower performance for negative than neutral/positive words was tracked by left-hemispheric structures processing negative stimuli and emotions, such as fronto-insular cortex, while the lack of specific activations for positively-connotated words supported their marginal facilitatory effect. The speeding/slowing effects of processing positive/negative individual emotional stimuli were enhanced by social words, reflecting in specific activations of the right anterior temporal and orbitofrontal cortex, respectively. RTs to social positive and negative words modulated connectivity from these regions to fronto-striatal and sensorimotor structures, respectively, likely promoting approach vs. avoidance dispositions shaping their facilitatory vs. inhibitory effect. These results might help assessing the neural correlates of impaired social cognition and emotional regulation, and the effects of rehabilitative interventions.
articolo
2021
Arioli, Maria; Basso, Gianpaolo; Poggi, Paolo; Canessa, Nicola
(2021). Fronto-temporal brain activity and connectivity track implicit attention to positive and negative social words in a novel socio-emotional Stroop task [journal article - articolo]. In NEUROIMAGE. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10446/235474
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