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Affective language processing. Modulations of event-related potentials amplitude by induced mood in a valence judgment task


  • Ekaterina Kopaeva

Summary, in English

Emotional vocabulary enjoys a processing advantage, with the emotional salience of a word detected at 200 ms post-presentation or earlier, signalling selective attention to its affective properties. An individual’s affective state also impacts attention and, by extension, affects processing. This study investigates whether and how preferential processing of emotional valence is modulated by mood. Participants performed an evaluative decision task in L1 judging the valence of individually presented words in a control mood and two mood-induced conditions. Recorded event-related potentials (ERPs) were analysed in the time window of the early posterior negativity (EPN) and the late positive complex (LPC) to cover both early lexical-semantic access and more elaborate and motivated semantic processing. Mood was found to facilitate affective language processing, with effects being more pronounced in happy induced moods, where facilitation was mood-congruent and occurred across processing stages. No congruence effects were found post negative mood induction: negative words elicited consistently higher amplitudes across conditions and sustained little effect of mood changes. No statistically significant interaction was found between mood and valence, pointing at the fact that mood effects on valence are indirect and seem to be mediated by attention processes. This finding supports the hypothesis of different processing styles in happy and sad moods, which already operate on the level of decontextualised words.


Publishing year




Document type

Student publication for Master's degree (two years)


  • Languages and Literatures


  • affective processing
  • emotion
  • ERP
  • lexico-semantic processing
  • mood
  • valence


  • Johan Blomberg
  • Mikael Roll