Isolating N400 as neural marker of vocal anger processing in 6-11-year old children

Chronaki, Georgia orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-5146-2510, Broyd, S, Garner, M, Hadwin, J, Thompson, M and Sonuga-Barke, E (2011) Isolating N400 as neural marker of vocal anger processing in 6-11-year old children. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, 2 (2). pp. 268-276. ISSN 1878-9293

[thumbnail of Chronaki et al. 2012.pdf]
PDF - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.


Official URL:


Introduction: Vocal anger is a salient social signal serving adaptive functions in typical child
development. Despite recent advances in the developmental neuroscience of emotion processing
with regard to visual stimuli, little remains known about the neural correlates of
vocal anger processing in childhood. This study represents the first attempt to isolate a
neural marker of vocal anger processing in children using electrophysiological methods.
Methods: We compared ERP wave forms during the processing of non-word emotional
vocal stimuli in a population sample of 55 6–11-year-old typically developing children.
Children listened to three types of stimuli expressing angry, happy, and neutral prosody
and completed an emotion identification task with three response options (angry, happy
and neutral/‘ok’).
Results: A distinctive N400 component which was modulated by emotional content of vocal
stimulus was observed in children over parietal and occipital scalp regions—amplitudes
were significantly attenuated to angry compared to happy and neutral voices.
Discussion: Findings of the present study regarding the N400 are compatible with adult
studies showing reduced N400 amplitudes to negative compared to neutral emotional stimuli.
Implications for studies of the neural basis of vocal anger processing in children are

Repository Staff Only: item control page