Navigation Links
Brain Scans Show How Humans 'Hear' Emotion

Swiss scientists tracked response to words via MRI

THURSDAY, May 14 (HealthDay News) -- What's in a word? Emotion, especially if it's said with inflection.

Now, Swiss scientists report that they can detect a person's sense of the emotion behind a word by "reading" the brain as it processes sounds from the world around it.

The findings could lead to better understanding of mental illnesses that affect how people interpret the emotions of others, such as autism and schizophrenia, said study co-author Patrik Vuilleumier, a researcher at University Hospital of Geneva.

The researchers scanned the brains of 22 subjects -- 13 women, nine men -- as they listened to the voices of actors saying a "pseudosentence," which is a sentence of words that sound real but are actually made up.

The actors spoke the words in five ways -- with sadness, anger, joy, relief or a neutral tone. Using functional MRIs, the researchers tried to see if they could determine what emotion the subjects heard by looking at the reactions of their brains.

The findings appear in the May 14 online issue of Current Biology.

The researchers discovered that each emotion left a different "signature" in the part of the brain that handles the processing of sound.

"This should give insights into the way emotions are coded in the brain, but also tools to assess how different people experience events in different conditions," Vuilleumier said.

The research suggests that the brain considers emotion early on, as it processes sound, said Duke University neuroscientist Scott Huettel, who's familiar with the findings.

It's not clear whether the brain works the same way when it tries to understand emotion in written words, such as those in e-mails or text messages. "For the vast majority of people [in history], emotion as conveyed in written words is pretty modern," Huettel said. "You can think of how recently literacy has taken hold."

In the future, research like this could help scientists get a better handle on psychiatric disorders that affect how people perceive the world around them, Huettel said.

Autistics, for instance, "don't have a good sense of what other people are thinking, doing or feeling," he said. This research, he said, could allow scientists to better understand exactly what goes wrong in their brains.

The knowledge may not lead directly to a treatment, he said, but could provide "a way to think about a disorder."

More information

Learn more about emotions from

SOURCES: Patrik Vuilleumier, researcher, University Hospital, Geneva; Scott Huettel, Ph.D., associate professor, psychiatry and neuroscience, Duke University, Durham, N.C.; May 14, 2009, Current Biology, online

Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Bonnie Hunt, Melina Kanakaredes and Dr. Ruth Westheimer Lend Their Support to Childrens Brain Tumor Foundation Benefit
2. Man Dies of Brain Inflammation Caused by Deer Tick Virus
3. UCLA study shows traumatic brain injury haunts children for years
4. Treating Untreatable Brain Tumors: FDA Approves New Laser Surgery
5. How to build a bigger brain
6. New System for Managing Sleep Disorders Aims to Improve Sleep Through Brain Chemistry
7. Mental Stimulation is Not Enough for Brain Fitness
8. Traumatic brain injury haunts children for years with variety of functional problems: Two studies
9. Grey Ribbon Crusade(TM) Promotes National Unification in the Fight Against Brain Tumors
10. Ziehm Imaging and BrainLAB Extend Partnership for Intra-Operative 3D Imaging and Computer Assisted Surgery (CAS) to North America
11. Brain Stimulation Therapy Eases Tough-to-Treat Depression
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Brain Scans Show How Humans 'Hear' Emotion
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... recently awarded their ... Eyeglasses . , Millions of individuals in the United States and Canada wear eyeglasses. ... way to both correct vision and make a fashion statement. Even celebrities use glasses ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... ... Pixel Film Studios Released ProSlice Levels, a Media Slicing Effect Plugin ... whole new perspective by using the title layers in ProSlice Levels to split-up ... Levels contains over 30 Different presets to choose from. FCPX users can ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... Many women are confused ... endometriosis. These women need a treatment plan to not only alleviate symptoms and ... help for preservation of fertility and ultimately achieving a pregnancy. The specialists at ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... The temporary closing of Bruton Memorial Library on June 21 due to a possible lice ... overlooked aspect of head lice: the parasite’s ability to live away from a human host, ... a necessary one in the event that lice have simply gotten out of control. , ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... As a lifelong Southern Californian, Dr. Omkar ... M.D from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He trained in Internal ... complete his fellowship in hematology/oncology at the UCLA-Olive View-Cedars Sinai program where he had ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/26/2016)... Jazz Pharmaceuticals plc (Nasdaq: JAZZ ) announced ... Act of 1976, as amended ("HSR"), with respect to ... CPXX ) expired effective June 24, 2016, ... previously announced on May 31, 2016, Jazz Pharmaceuticals and ... Jazz Pharmaceuticals has commenced a tender offer for all ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016  Global Blood Therapeutics, ... company developing novel therapeutics for the treatment of ... announced the closing of its previously announced underwritten ... at the public offering price of $18.75 per ... were offered by GBT. GBT estimates net proceeds ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Dehaier Medical Systems Ltd. (NASDAQ: DHRM ) ... medical devices and wearable sleep respiratory products in ... with Hongyuan Supply Chain Management Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred ... to develop Dehaier,s new Internet medical technology business. ... Hongyuan Supply Chain,s sales platform to reach Dehaier,s dealers ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: