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Single-subject analyses of magnetoencephalographic evoked responses to the acoustic properties of affective non-verbal vocalizations

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Kotz,  Sonja A.
School of Psychological Sciences, University of Manchester, United Kingdom;
Department Neuropsychology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Salvia, E., Bestelmeyer, P. E. G., Kotz, S. A., Rousselet, G. A., Pernet, C. R., Gross, J., et al. (2014). Single-subject analyses of magnetoencephalographic evoked responses to the acoustic properties of affective non-verbal vocalizations. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 8: 422. doi:10.3389/fnins.2014.00422.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0029-AE29-9
Abstract
Magneto-encephalography (MEG) was used to examine the cerebral response to affective non-verbal vocalizations (ANVs) at the single-subject level. Stimuli consisted of non-verbal affect bursts from the Montreal Affective Voices morphed to parametrically vary acoustical structure and perceived emotional properties. Scalp magnetic fields were recorded in three participants while they performed a 3-alternative forced choice emotion categorization task (Anger, Fear, Pleasure). Each participant performed more than 6000 trials to allow single-subject level statistical analyses using a new toolbox which implements the general linear model (GLM) on stimulus-specific responses (LIMO-EEG). For each participant we estimated “simple” models [including just one affective regressor (Arousal or Valence)] as well as “combined” models (including acoustical regressors). Results from the “simple” models revealed in every participant the significant early effects (as early as ~100 ms after onset) of Valence and Arousal already reported at the group-level in previous work. However, the “combined” models showed that few effects of Arousal remained after removing the acoustically-explained variance, whereas significant effects of Valence remained especially at late stages. This study demonstrates (i) that single-subject analyses replicate the results observed at early stages by group-level studies and (ii) the feasibility of GLM-based analysis of MEG data. It also suggests that early modulation of MEG amplitude by affective stimuli partly reflects their acoustical properties.