Belmont University Research Symposium (BURS)

Hear Here: Emotional Laterality can also be probed by auditory words

Publication Date

Spring 3-31-2023


Sciences and Mathematics, College of


Psychological Science, Department of

BURS Faculty Advisor

Dr. Michael Oliver

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation


Hemispheric lateralization is the idea that different areas of the brain specialize in processing different mental states and behaviors. Prior literature indicates that there is a left-hemispheric dominance as it pertains to speech and language processing. Whereas deeper qualities such as meaning, and emotions are right-lateralized. Understanding the contralateral functioning of the brain, particularly in visual/auditory processing is important to understanding hemispheric dominance. The valence-specific hypothesis posits separation of affect amongst hemispheres (left=positive; right=negative), specifically with visual presentations of facial emotional stimuli. Yet, lateralization for emotional auditory stimuli is under-studied. Auditory processing not only relates to language, but also memory and decision-making, making it critical to understand this medium's hemispheric dominance in emotional processing. The current study employed a dichotic listening paradigm to obtain accuracy and reaction times (RT) when judging auditory stimuli with negative, positive, or neutral connotations. The words presented in this task were drawn from the Affective Norms for English Words database. Data is currently being collected and analyzed. Since poor emotional processing can lead to emotional dysregulation, understanding of processing through multiple mediums is critical for development of treatments and interventions for emotional regulation.

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