Recognition of affective prosody in brain-damaged patients and healthy controls: A neurophysiological study using EEG and whole-head MEG

Boris Kotchoubey, Jochen Kaiser, Vladimir Bostanov, Werner Lutzenberger, Niels Birbaumer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


A passive oddball experiment was used in which stimuli were emotional exclamations differing in their affective tone. In both electroencephalography (EEG) and magnetoencephalography (MEG), deviants elicited an N300 component, sometimes accompanied by a slow wave. Both components had a symmetrical distribution, but the former was more posterior than the latter. The same responses to prosodic stimuli were significant in 6 of 27 patients with severe disorders of consciousness (persistent vegetative state and minimally conscious state) and in all 3 of the examined locked-in patients, indicating that the procedure can be applied for testing neurological patients. The occurrence of significant responses depended on the presence or absence of a lesion to the right temporal lobe. Obviously, the N300 depends on the activity of the right temporal cortex but does not originate there. We suggest that the component is related not to the recognition of affective prosody as such, but to the following detection of affective mismatch due to violations of emotional context of stimulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-167
Number of pages15
JournalCognitive, Affective and Behavioral Neuroscience
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2009


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Cognitive Neuroscience

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