Intracranial markers of emotional valence processing and judgments in music

Omigie, Diana; Dellacherie, Delphine; Hasboun, Dominique; Clément, Sylvain; Baulac, Michel; Adam, Claude and Samson, Séverine. 2014. Intracranial markers of emotional valence processing and judgments in music. Cognitive Neuroscience, 6(1), pp. 16-23. ISSN 1758-8928 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

The involvement of the amygdala and orbitofrontal cortex in the processing of valenced stimuli is well established. However, less is known about the extent to which activity in these regions reflects a stimulus’ physical properties, the individual subjective experience it evokes, or both. We recorded cortical electrical activity from five epileptic patients implanted with depth electrodes for presurgical evaluation while they rated “consonant” and “dissonant” musical chords using a “pleasantness” scale. We compared the pattern of responses in the amygdala and orbitofrontal cortex when trials were sorted by pleasantness judgments relative to when they were sorted by the acoustic properties known to influence emotional reactions to musical chords. This revealed earlier differential activity in the amygdala in the physical properties-based, relative to in the judgment-based, analyses. Thus, our results demonstrate that the amygdala has, first and foremost, a high initial sensitivity to the physical properties of valenced stimuli. The finding that differentiations in the amygdala based on pleasantness ratings had a longer latency suggests that in this structure, mediation of emotional judgment follows accumulation of sensory information. This is in contrast to the orbitofrontal cortex where sensitivity to sensory information did not precede differentiation based on affective judgments.

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Emotional evaluation, Musical valence, Amygdala, Orbitofrontal cortex, Intracranial electroencephalography

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11 November 2014Accepted
11 December 2014Published

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Date Deposited:

21 Jun 2018 13:37

Last Modified:

21 Jun 2018 13:37

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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