Cortical reactions to verbal abuse: event-related brain potentials reflecting the processing of socially threatening words

Autor(en): Wabnitz, Pascal
Martens, Ulla
Neuner, Frank
Stichwörter: ATTENTION; EMOTION; event-related potentials; exclusion; LANGUAGE; MEMORY; N400; Neurosciences; Neurosciences & Neurology; social threat; TASK
Erscheinungsdatum: 2012
Herausgeber: LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS
Journal: NEUROREPORT
Volumen: 23
Ausgabe: 13
Startseite: 774
Seitenende: 779
Zusammenfassung: 
Human information processing is sensitive to aversive stimuli, in particular to negative cues that indicate a threat to physical integrity. We investigated the extent to which these findings can be transferred to stimuli that are associated with a social rather than a physical threat. Event-related potentials were recorded during silent reading of neutral, positive, physically threatening, and socially threatening words, whereby socially threatening words were represented by swear words. We found facilitated processing of positive and physically threatening words in contrast to both neutral and socially threatening words at a first potential that emerged at about 120 ms after stimulus onset At a semantic processing stage reflected by the N400, processing of all classes of affective words, including socially threatening words, differed from neutral words. We conclude that socially threatening words as well as neutral words capture more attentional resources than positive and physically threatening words at early stages. However, social threatening words are processed in a manner similar to other emotional words and different from neutral words at higher levels. NeuroReport 23:774-779 (C) 2012 Wolters Kluwer Health vertical bar Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
ISSN: 09594965
DOI: 10.1097/WNR.0b013e328356f7a6

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