講題：Emotion anticipation induces emotion effects in neutral words during sentence reading: Evidence from event-related potentials
In this talk, I will present a recently published study with my students that examined whether emotion responses during reading are co-constituted by lexical items and the preceding context. Event-related potentials to coherent emotion and neutral words finishing sentences with or without strong constraint for the incoming valence were analyzed. Typical frontal P200 and posterior late positive component (LPC) emotion responses were seen to emotion words relative to neutral words in the neutral context, indicating heightened attention allocation and further valence analysis induced by word-level emotionality. With emotional bias in the context, words elicited reduced N400 responses, indicating facilitated semantic processing. Critically, we obtained evidence for contextualized emotion responses during coherent sentence comprehension. With active anticipation of the incoming emotionality (evidenced by the frontal positivity to plausible emotionally unpredicted words), enhanced P200 and LPC responses were seen to neutral words in emotional contexts. These findings demonstrated that, like word emotionality, emotion-constraining contexts could similarly engage motivational circuits and attention resources, affecting early perception and later further affective evaluation of the incoming information, even for emotionally neutral words. Despite the seeming similarity, multiple routes may be involved for giving rise to these neurophysiological reactions during emotion processing – while lexically driven LPCs were significantly correlated with empathy, contextually driven LPCs were not. Together, these findings provide support for contextualized emotion responses during congruent sentence reading when explicit emotional judgment on the materials is not required. These findings also provide an initial understanding about how these responses are mediated by empathy – an important aspect of human ability to perceive emotion.