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The effect of unimodal affective priming on dichotic emotion recognition

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The present report concerns two experiments extending to unimodal priming the cross-modal priming effects observed with auditory emotions by Harding and Voyer [(2016). Laterality effects in cross-modal affective priming. Laterality: Asymmetries of Body, Brain and Cognition, 21, 585–605]. Experiment 1 used binaural targets to establish the presence of the priming effect and Experiment 2 used dichotically presented targets to examine auditory asymmetries. In Experiment 1, 82 university students completed a task in which binaural targets consisting of one of 4 English words inflected in one of 4 emotional tones were preceded by binaural primes consisting of one of 4 Mandarin words pronounced in the same (congruent) or different (incongruent) emotional tones. Trials where the prime emotion was congruent with the target emotion showed faster responses and higher accuracy in identifying the target emotion. In Experiment 2, 60 undergraduate students participated and the target was presented dichotically instead of binaurally. Primes congruent with the left ear produced a large left ear advantage, whereas right congruent primes produced a right ear advantage. These results indicate that unimodal priming produces stronger effects than those observed under cross-modal priming. The findings suggest that priming should likely be considered a strong top-down influence on laterality effects.
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Keywords: Auditory asymmetries; dichotic listening; emotion recognition; priming

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Psychology, University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, NB, Canada

Publication date: September 3, 2018

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