A voice from kin species conveys indispensable social and affective signals with uniquely phylogenetic and ontogenetic standpoints. However, the neural underpinning of emotional voices, beyond low-level acoustic features, activates a processing chain that proceeds from the auditory pathway to the brain structures implicated in cognition and emotion. By using a passive auditory oddball paradigm, which employs emotional voices, this study investigates the test–retest reliability of emotional mismatch negativity (MMN), indicating that the deviants of positively (happily)- and negatively (angrily)-spoken syllables, as compared to neutral standards, can trigger MMN as a response to an automatic discrimination of emotional salience. The neurophysiological estimates of MMN to positive and negative deviants appear to be highly reproducible, irrespective of the subject’s attentional disposition: whether the subjects are set to a condition that involves watching a silent movie or do a working memory task. Specifically, negativity bias is evinced as threatening, relative to positive vocalizations, consistently inducing larger MMN amplitudes, regardless of the day and the time of a day. The present findings provide evidence to support the fact that emotional MMN offers a stable platform to detect subtle changes in current emotional shifts.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health
- Biological Psychiatry
- Behavioral Neuroscience