Skip to main content Accessibility help
  • Cited by 1
  • Print publication year: 2013
  • Online publication date: February 2013

Chapter 11 - Emotional Voices

from Section III - Emotion Perception and Elicitation


This chapter defines the main experimental designs possible with lesion methods and discusses both the strengths and weaknesses of these techniques. Lesion studies remain a crucial part of the experimental toolbox in this field because of the nature of evidence that can be obtained with this method. These studies offer particular inferential strengths, complementing other approaches. Human lesion studies are at best quasiexperimental. Most studies in affective neuroscience make use of novel behavioral measures and so usually require a reference group made up of healthy subjects demographically similar to the target patient population to help interpret the performance of the patient group. Region-of-interest (ROI) studies often involve both a healthy reference group and a brain-damaged control group. Lesion studies have made many interesting contributions to affective neuroscience and are especially important in building a converging evidence base for the brain basis of complex processes.

Related content

Powered by UNSILO


Ackermann, H., Hertrich, I., Grodd, W., & Wildgruber, D. (2004). Das Hören von Gefühlen: Funktionell-neuroanatomische Grundlage der Verarbeitung affektiver Prosodie. Aktuelle Neurologie, 31, 449–60.
Adolphs, R., & Tranel, D. (1999). Intact recognition of emotional prosody following amygdala damage. Neuropsychologia, 37(11), 1285–92.
Amodio, D. M., & Frith, C. D. (2006). Meeting of minds: the medial frontal cortex and social cognition. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 7(4), 268–77.
Bach, D. R., Grandjean, D., Sander, D., Herdener, M., Strik, W. K., & Seifritz, E. (2008). The effect of appraisal level on processing of emotional prosody in meaningless speech. Neuroimage, 42(2), 919–27.
Bach, D. R., Herdener, M., Grandjean, D., Sander, D., Seifritz, E., & Strik, W. K. (2009). Altered lateralisation of emotional prosody processing in schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Research, 110(1–3), 180–87.
Banse, R., & Scherer, K. R. (1996). Acoustic profiles in vocal emotion expression. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 70(3), 614–36.
Belin, P., Fecteau, S., & Bedard, C. (2004). Thinking the voice: Neural correlates of voice perception. Trends in Cognitive Science, 8(3), 129–35.
Belin, P., & Grosbras, M. H. (2010). Before speech: Cerebral voice processing in infants. Neuron, 65(6), 733–35.
Belin, P., & Zatorre, R. J. (2003). Adaptation to speaker's voice in right anterior temporal lobe. Neuroreport, 14(16), 2105–9.
Belin, P., Zatorre, R. J., & Ahad, P. (2002). Human temporal-lobe response to vocal sounds. Brain Research: Cognitive Brain Research, 13(1), 17–26.
Belin, P., Zatorre, R. J., Lafaille, P., Ahad, P., & Pike, B. (2000). Voice-selective areas in human auditory cortex. Nature, 403(6767), 309–12.
Blair, K. S., Smith, B. W., Mitchell, D. G., Morton, J., Vythilingam, M., Pessoa, L., et al. (2007). Modulation of emotion by cognition and cognition by emotion. Neuroimage, 35(1), 430–40.
Breitenstein, C., Van Lancker, D., Daum, I., & Waters, C. H. (2001). Impaired perception of vocal emotions in Parkinson's disease: Influence of speech time processing and executive functioning. Brain Cognition, 45(2), 277–314.
Brück, C., Kreifelts, B., Kaza, E., Lotze, M., & Wildgruber, D. (2011). Impact of personality on the cerebral processing of emotional prosody. Neuroimage, 58(1), 259–68.
Campanella, S., & Belin, P. (2007). Integrating face and voice in person perception. Trends in Cognitive Science, 11(12), 535–43.
Cancelliere, A. E., & Kertesz, A. (1990). Lesion localization in acquired deficits of emotional expression and comprehension. Brain Cognition, 13(2), 133–47.
Chavis, D. A., & Pandya, D. N. (1976). Further observations on corticofrontal connections in the rhesus monkey. Brain Research, 117(3), 369–86.
Chein, J. M., Ravizza, S. M., & Fiez, J. A. (2003). Using neuroimaging to evaluate models of working memory and their implications for language processing. Journal of Neurolinguistics, 16, 315–39.
Chevallier, C., Noveck, I., Happe, F., & Wilson, D. (2011). What's in a voice? Prosody as a test case for the Theory of Mind account of autism. Neuropsychologia, 49(3), 507–17.
Critchley, H., Daly, E., Phillips, M., Brammer, M., Bullmore, E., Williams, S., et al. (2000). Explicit and implicit neural mechanisms for processing of social information from facial expressions: A functional magnetic resonance imaging study. Hum Brain Mapping, 9(2), 93–105.
D’Esposito, M., Aguirre, G. K., Zarahn, E., Ballard, D., Shin, R. K., & Lease, J. (1998). Functional MRI studies of spatial and nonspatial working memory. Brain Research: Cognitive Brain Research, 7(1), 1–13.
Damasio, A. R. (1989). Time-locked multiregional retroactivation: A systems-level proposal for the neural substrates of recall and recognition. Cognition, 33(1–2), 25–62.
de Gelder, B., & Vroomen, J. (2000). The perception of emotions by ear and by eye. Cognition and Emotion, 14(3), 289–311.
Dolan, R. J., Morris, J. S. & de Gelder, B. (2001). Crossmodal binding of fear in voice and face. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 98(17), 10006–10010.
Ethofer, T., Anders, S., Erb, M., Droll, C., Royen, L., Saur, R., et al. (2006). Impact of voice on emotional judgment of faces: An event-related fMRI study. Human Brain Mapping, 27(9), 707–14.
Ethofer, T., Anders, S., Erb, M., Herbert, C., Wiethoff, S., Kissler, J., et al. (2006). Cerebral pathways in processing of affective prosody: A dynamic causal modeling study. Neuroimage, 30(2), 580–87.
Ethofer, T., Anders, S., Wiethoff, S., Erb, M., Herbert, C., Saur, R., et al. (2006). Effects of prosodic emotional intensity on activation of associative auditory cortex. Neuroreport, 17(3), 249–53.
Ethofer, T., Bretscher, J., Gschwind, M., Kreifelts, B., Wildgruber, D., & Vuilleumier, P. (2012). Emotional voice areas: Anatomic location, functional properties, and structural connections revealed by combined fMRI/DTI. Cerebral Cortex, 22(1), 191–200.
Ethofer, T., Kreifelts, B., Wiethoff, S., Wolf, J., Grodd, W., Vuilleumier, P., et al. (2009). Differential influences of emotion, task, and novelty on brain regions underlying the processing of speech melody. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 21(7), 1255–68.
Ethofer, T., Pourtois, G., & Wildgruber, D. (2006). Investigating audiovisual integration of emotional signals in the human brain. Progress in Brain Research, 156, 345–61.
Ethofer, T., Van De Ville, D., Scherer, K., & Vuilleumier, P. (2009). Decoding of emotional information in voice-sensitive cortices. Current Biology, 19(12), 1028–33.
Ethofer, T., Wiethoff, S., Anders, S., Kreifelts, B., Grodd, W., & Wildgruber, D. (2007). The voices of seduction: Cross-gender effects in processing of erotic prosody. Social Cognition and Affective Neuroscience, 2(4), 334–37.
Fecteau, S., Belin, P., Joanette, Y., & Armony, J. L. (2007). Amygdala responses to nonlinguistic emotional vocalizations. Neuroimage, 36(2), 480–87.
Fries, W. (1984). Cortical projections to the superior colliculus in the macaque monkey: A retrograde study using horseradish peroxidase. Journal of Comparative Neurology, 230(1), 55–76.
Gervais, H., Belin, P., Boddaert, N., Leboyer, M., Coez, A., Sfaello, I., et al. (2004). Abnormal cortical voice processing in autism. Nature Neuroscience, 7(8), 801–2.
Grandjean, D., Sander, D., Pourtois, G., Schwartz, S., Seghier, M. L., Scherer, K. R., et al. (2005). The voices of wrath: Brain responses to angry prosody in meaningless speech. Nature Neuroscience, 8(2), 145–46.
Hamann, S., & Canli, T. (2004). Individual differences in emotion processing. Current Opinion in Neurobiology, 14(2), 233–38.
Hariri, A. R., Mattay, V. S., Tessitore, A., Fera, F., & Weinberger, D. R. (2003). Neocortical modulation of the amygdala response to fearful stimuli. Biological Psychiatry, 53(6), 494–501.
Hoekert, M., Kahn, R. S., Pijnenborg, M., & Aleman, A. (2007). Impaired recognition and expression of emotional prosody in schizophrenia: Review and meta-analysis. Schizophrenia Research, 96(1–3), 135–45.
Hornak, J., Bramham, J., Rolls, E. T., Morris, R. G., O’Doherty, J., Bullock, P. R., et al. (2003). Changes in emotion after circumscribed surgical lesions of the orbitofrontal and cingulate cortices. Brain, 126(Pt. 7), 1691–1712.
Juslin, P. N., & Laukka, P. (2003). Emotional expression in speech and music: evidence of cross-modal similarities. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1000, 279–82.
Juslin, P. N., & Scherer, K. R. (2005). Vocal expression of affect. In J. Harrigan, R. Rosenthal, & K. R. Scherer (Eds.), The new handbook of methods in nonverbal behavior research (pp. 65–135). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Kan, Y., Mimura, M., Kamijima, K., & Kawamura, M. (2004). Recognition of emotion from moving facial and prosodic stimuli in depressed patients. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, 75, 1667–71.
Kanwisher, N., McDermott, J., & Chun, M. M. (1997). The fusiform face area: A module in human extrastriate cortex specialized for face perception. Journal of Neuroscience, 17(11), 4302–11.
Kayser, C., Petkov, C. I., & Logothetis, N. K. (2009). Multisensory interactions in primate auditory cortex: fMRI and electrophysiology. Hearing Research, 258(1–2), 80–88.
Kotz, S. A., Meyer, M., Alter, K., Besson, M., von Cramon, D. Y., & Friederici, A. D. (2003). On the lateralization of emotional prosody: An event-related functional MR investigation. Brain and Language, 86(3), 366–76.
Krapf, A. (2007). The human voice: The story of a remarkable talent. London: Bloomsbury.
Kreifelts, B., Ethofer, T., Grodd, W., Erb, M., & Wildgruber, D. (2007). Audiovisual integration of emotional signals in voice and face: An event-related fMRI study. Neuroimage, 37(4), 1445–56.
Kreifelts, B., Ethofer, T., Huberle, E., Grodd, W., & Wildgruber, D. (2010). Association of trait emotional intelligence and individual fMRI-activation patterns during the perception of social signals from voice and face. Human Brain Mapping, 31(7), 979–91.
Kreifelts, B., Ethofer, T., Shiozawa, T., Grodd, W., & Wildgruber, D. (2009). Cerebral representation of non-verbal emotional perception: fMRI reveals audiovisual integration area between voice- and face-sensitive regions in the superior temporal sulcus. Neuropsychologia, 47(14), 3059–66.
LeDoux, J. (1998). The emotional brain: The mysterious underpinnings of emotional life. London: Phoenix.
Leitman, D. I., Hoptman, M. J., Foxe, J. J., Saccente, E., Wylie, G. R., Nierenberg, J., et al. (2007). The neural substrates of impaired prosodic detection in schizophrenia and its sensorial antecedents. American Journal of Psychiatry, 164(3), 474–82.
Linden, D. E., Thornton, K., Kuswanto, C. N., Johnston, S. J., van de Ven, V., & Jackson, M. C. (2010). The brain's voices: Comparing nonclinical auditory hallucinations and imagery. Cerebral Cortex, 21(2), 330–37.
Massaro, D. W., & Egan, P. B. (1996). Perceiving affect from the voice and the face. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 3(2), 215–21.
McDonald, A. J. (1998). Cortical pathways to the mammalian amygdala. Progress in Neurobiology, 55(3), 257–332.
Mehrabian, A., & Ferris, S. R. (1967). Inference of attitudes from nonverbal communication in two channels. Journal of Consulting Psychology, 31(3), 248–52.
Mehrabian, A., & Wiener, M. (1967). Decoding of inconsistent communications. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 6(1), 109–14.
Mesulam, M. M., & Mufson, E. J. (1982). Insula of the old world monkey. III: Efferent cortical output and comments on function. Journal of Comparative Neurology, 212(1), 38–52.
Meyer, M., Baumann, S., Wildgruber, D., & Alter, K. (2007). How the brain laughs. Comparative evidence from behavioral, electrophysiological and neuroimaging studies in human and monkey. Behavioural Brain Research, 182(2), 245–60.
Meyer, M., Zysset, S., Von Cramon, D. Y., & Alter, K. (2005). Distinct fMRI responses to laughter, speech, and sounds along the human peri-sylvian cortex. Cognitive Brain Research, 24(2), 291–306.
Mitchell, D. G., Nakic, M., Fridberg, D., Kamel, N., Pine, D. S., & Blair, R. J. (2007). The impact of processing load on emotion. Neuroimage, 34(3), 1299–1309.
Mitchell, R. L. (2007). fMRI delineation of working memory for emotional prosody in the brain: Commonalities with the lexico-semantic emotion network. Neuroimage, 36(3), 1015–25.
Mitchell, R. L., Elliott, R., Barry, M., Cruttenden, A., & Woodruff, P. W. (2003). The neural response to emotional prosody, as revealed by functional magnetic resonance imaging. Neuropsychologia, 41(10), 1410–21.
Morris, J. S., Scott, S. K., & Dolan, R. J. (1999). Saying it with feeling: Neural responses to emotional vocalizations. Neuropsychologia, 37(10), 1155–63.
Mufson, E. J., & Mesulam, M. M. (1984). Thalamic connections of the insula in the rhesus monkey and comments on the paralimbic connectivity of the medial pulvinar nucleus. Journal of Comparative Neurology, 227(1), 109–20.
Müller, V. I., Habel, U., Derntl, B., Schneider, F., Zilles, K., Turetsky, B. I., et al. (2010). Incongruence effects in crossmodal emotional integration. Neuroimage, 4(3), 2257–66.
O’Craven, K. M., & Kanwisher, N. (2000). Mental imagery of faces and places activates corresponding stiimulus-specific brain regions. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 12(6), 1013–23.
Paulmann, S., Ott, D. V. M., & Kotz, S. A. (2011). Emotional speech perception unfolding in time: The role of the basal ganglia. PLoS One, 6(3), e17694.
Pearson, R. C., Brodal, P., Gatter, K. C., & Powell, T. P. (1982). The organization of the connections between the cortex and the claustrum in the monkey. Brain Research, 234(2), 435–41.
Pell, M. D., & Leonard, C. L. (2003). Processing emotional tone from speech in Parkinson's disease: A role for the basal ganglia. Cognitive, Affective & Behavioral Neuroscience, 3(4), 275–88.
Pell, M. D., Monetta, L., Paulmann, S., & Kotz, S. A. (2009). Recognizing emotions in a foreign language. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, 33(2), 107–20
Posamentier, M. T., & Abdi, H. (2003). Processing faces and facial expressions. Neuropsychology Reviews, 13(3), 113–43.
Pourtois, G., de Gelder, B., Vroomen, J., Rossion, B., & Crommelinck, M. (2000). The time-course of intermodal binding between seeing and hearing affective information. Neuroreport, 11(6), 1329–33.
Quadflieg, S., Mohr, A., Mentzel, H. J., Miltner, W. H., & Straube, T. (2008). Modulation of the neural network involved in the processing of anger prosody: The role of task-relevance and social phobia. Biological Psychology, 78(2), 129–37.
Ross, E. D. (1981). The aprosodiasL Functional-anatomic organization of the affective components of language in the right hemisphere. Archives of Neurology, 38(9), 561–69.
Sander, D., Grandjean, D., Pourtois, G., Schwartz, S., Seghier, M. L., Scherer, K. R., et al. (2005). Emotion and attention interactions in social cognition: Brain regions involved in processing anger prosody. Neuroimage, 28(4), 848–58.
Sander, K., & Scheich, H. (2001). Auditory perception of laughing and crying activates human amygdala regardless of attentional state. Cognitive Brain Research, 12, 181–198.
Sander, K., & Scheich, H. (2005). Left auditory cortex and amygdala, but right insula dominance for human laughing and crying. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 17, 1519–31.
Sauter, D. A., Eisner, F., Calder, A. J., & Scott, S. K. (2010). Perceptual cues in nonverbal vocal expressions of emotion. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology (Colchester), 63(11), 2251–72.
Scherer, K. R. (Ed.). (1994). Affect bursts. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
Schirmer, A., & Kotz, S. A. (2006). Beyond the right hemisphere: Brain mechanisms mediating vocal emotional processing. Trends in Cognitive Science, 10(1), 24–30.
Schirmer, A., Kotz, S. A., & Friederici, A. D. (2002). Sex differentiates the role of emotional prosody during word processing. Brain Research: Cognitive Brain Research, 14(2), 228–33.
Schirmer, A., Zysset, S., Kotz, S. A., & von Cramon, Y. D. (2004). Gender differences in the activation of inferior frontal cortex during emotional speech perception. Neuroimage, 21(3), 1114–23.
Schröder, M. (2003). Experimental study of affect bursts. Speech Communication, 40(1–2), 99–116.
Scott, S. K., Sauter, D. A., & McGettigan, C. (2009). Brain mechanisms for processing perceived emotional vocalizations in humans. In S. M. Brudzynski (Ed.), Handbook of mammalian vocalization: An integrative neuroscience approach (pp. 187–98). Oxford: Academic Press.
Seltzer, B., & Pandya, D. N. (1978). Afferent cortical connections and architectonics of the superior temporal sulcus and surrounding cortex in the rhesus monkey. Brain Research, 149(1), 1–24.
Szameitat, D. P., Alter, K., Szameitat, A. J., Wildgruber, D., Sterr, A., & Darwin, C. J. (2009). Acoustic profiles of distinct emotional expressions in laughter. Journal of Acoustic Society of America, 126(1), 354–66.
Szameitat, D. P., Darwin, C. J., Szameitat, A. J., Wildgruber, D., & Alter, K. (2011). Formant characteristics of human laughter. Journal of Voice, 25(1), 32–37.
Szameitat, D. P., Kreifelts, B., Alter, K., Szameitat, A. J., Sterr, A., Grodd, W., et al. (2010). It is not always tickling: Distinct cerebral responses during perception of different laughter types. Neuroimage, 53(4), 1264–71.
Tamietto, M., & de Gelder, B. (2010). Neural bases of the non-conscious perception of emotional signals. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 11(10), 697–709.
Uekermann, J., Abdel-Hamid, M., Lehmkamper, C., Vollmoeller, W., & Daum, I. (2008). Perception of affective prosody in major depression: A link to executive functions?Journal of the International Neuropsychology Society, 14(4), 552–61.
Van Lancker, D., Cornelius, C., & Kreiman, J. (1989). Recognition of emotional-prosodic meaning in speech by autistic, schizophrenic, and normal children. Developmental Neuropsycholgy, 5(2), 207–26.
von Kriegstein, K., Kleinschmidt, A., Sterzer, P., & Giraud, A. L. (2005). Interaction of face and voice areas during speaker recognition. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 17(3), 367–76.
Wambacq, I. J., Shea-Miller, K. J., & Abubakr, A. (2004). Non-voluntary and voluntary processing of emotional prosody: An event-related potentials study. Neuroreport, 15(3), 555–59.
Wiethoff, S., Wildgruber, D., Grodd, W., & Ethofer, T. (2009). Response and habituation of the amygdala during processing of emotional prosody. Neuroreport, 20(15), 1356–60.
Wiethoff, S., Wildgruber, D., Kreifelts, B., Becker, H., Herbert, C., Grodd, W., et al. (2008). Cerebral processing of emotional prosody – influence of acoustic parameters and arousal. Neuroimage, 39(2), 885–93.
Wildgruber, D., Ackermann, H., Kreifelts, B., & Ethofer, T. (2006). Cerebral processing of linguistic and emotional prosody: fMRI studies. Progress in Brain Research, 156, 249–68.
Wildgruber, D., Ethofer, T., Grandjean, D., & Kreifelts, B. (2009). A cerebral network model of speech prosody comprehension. International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 11(4), 277–81.
Wildgruber, D., Hertrich, I., Riecker, A., Erb, M., Anders, S., Grodd, W., et al. (2004). Distinct frontal regions subserve evaluation of linguistic and emotional aspects of speech intonation. Cerebral Cortex, 14(12), 1384–89.
Wildgruber, D., Riecker, A., Hertrich, I., Erb, M., Grodd, W., Ethofer, T., et al. (2005). Identification of emotional intonation evaluated by fMRI. Neuroimage, 24(4), 1233–41.
Woods, D. L. (1995). The component structure of the N1 wave of the human auditory evoked potential. Electroencephalography and Clinical Neurophysiology. Supplement, 44, 102–9.