Conference Venue: University of Abertay, Dundee Scottish Branch
From: 12 Mar 2008 To: 12 Mar 2008
An investigation of the relationship between emotion recognition ability and the lateralization of emotion processing in the brain.
University of Dundee
Objective: The purpose of this study was to progress from the limited amount of previous work that has been conducted in this area by investigating the relationship between emotion recognition ability and the lateralization of emotion processing in the brains of 58 non-clinical participants. The experimental hypothesis predicted that a positive correlation would be found to exist between these two factors.
Design: The current study is correlational in design as it is investigating the possible existence of a relationship between emotion recognition and lateralization of emotion processing. A within-subjects design has been used, therefore, reducing the effect of individual differences affecting any of the results obtained.
Methods: 30 female and 28 male voluntary participants were required to complete a handedness questionnaire, providing a measurement of degree of handedness. Two emotion recognition tests, (Ekman 60 Faces Test and Emotion Hexagon Test), to record the emotion recognition ability of participants, and two Chimeric Faces Tests, one of which was inverted, as a measure of lateralisation of emotion processing, were also completed.
Results: A one-sample t-test conducted provides support for the right hemisphere hypothesis of the lateralization of emotion processing.
Three separate multiple regression analyses were also used to analyse the data for each of the three emotions investigated; anger, happiness and sadness. The models for the anger and sadness emotions were both found to be significant predictors of emotion recognition ability, however, lateralization of emotion processing was not found to be a significant individual predictor of emotion recognition ability for any of the emotions. The experimental hypothesis, therefore, was not supported.
Conclusions: Although a number of methodological issues may be present in the current study the main conclusions suggest that regardless of how different individuals’ brains are organised they are equally capable of successfully completing a task of emotion recognition.