Postersession 1
Poster #: 76
Topic: MMN across modalities
Wednesday, Sep 9, 2015
1st floor

Emotional mismatch negativity elicited by Japanese kanji with different connotations

Tomomi Fujimura1 & Kazuo Okanoya2

1AIST, Tsukuba, Japan
2The University of Tokyo, Japan

The ability to detect emotional change in the environment is essential for adaptive behavior. We investigated whether visual mismatch negativity (visual MMN) reflected emotional change in a temporal context.

Twenty-five participants viewed visual sequences of Japanese kanji with different emotional connotations while event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded. The visual sequences were constructed from positive or negative standards with two types of deviants. One was emotionally incongruent with the standard (i.e., positive deviants for negative standards and negative deviants for positive standards). The other was emotionally congruent with the standard but had a different configuration from the standard (i.e., negative deviants for negative standards and positive deviants for positive standards). Participants were asked to respond to changes in color of characters that were irrelevant to emotional change in the sequence.

We found that the emotionally incongruent and congruent deviants elicited greater occipital negativities than the standards at 100–200 ms. At a latency of 200–260 ms, the occipital negativity was significantly greater for the emotionally incongruent deviants than for the standards. In addition, at a latency of 300–360 ms, the emotionally incongruent deviants elicited significantly greater negativity than the standards. These results suggest that the visual MMNs at 200-260 ms and 300-360 ms reflect emotional change in a sequence while the visual MMN at 100-200 ms reflect the changes in the visual features of the stimuli, rather than the emotional connotations. The visual MMN can reflect emotional connotations carried by Japanese kanji.