ERPs and the Study of Emotion

Greg Hajcak, Anna Weinberg, Annmarie MacNamara and Dan Foti

in The Oxford Handbook of Event-Related Potential Components

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780195374148
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 ERPs and the Study of Emotion

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  • Psychology
  • Cognitive Psychology
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Interest in the neuroscience of emotion has increased dramatically over the course of the last two decades. The rapid growth and popularity, however, have come with a definitional imbroglio, as there seem to be as many conceptualizations of emotion as there are emotion researchers. This chapter begins by presenting an increasingly common conceptualization of emotion and emphasizes key distinctions used in emotion research. Next, multiple event-related potential (ERP) components sensitive to emotional content and the time course of emotional processing are highlighted. Then, how that time course can be clarified through data reduction techniques is examined, with examples provided. Subsequently, methodological issues are outlined, with the key decisions about ERP elicitation and measurement specified. Event-related potential findings related to clinical, developmental, and aging applications in the psychology of emotion are summarized. Finally, speculation on the future of emotion research using ERPs is proffered in terms of key questions to be answered.

Keywords: event-related potentials; emotion; emotion research; ERP components

Article.  22103 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Cognitive Psychology ; Cognitive Neuroscience

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