Vocal Emotional Processing Across the Adult Life Span

The human voice is a major source of emotional information in social interactions. Like facial expressions, modulations of the tone of voice while speaking and nonverbal vocalizations such as laughter provide a window into the emotional states of others. Although being able to perceive these cues is crucial for communication at any age, little is known about how this ability develops, and how it changes across the adult life span. In this talk I will address the neurocognitive mechanisms involved in the perception of emotional vocalizations, emphasizing modulations associated with ageing. I will describe the behavioural profiles of age-related changes in vocal emotion recognition, and explore the mediating roles of cognitive, sensory and broader affective factors. I will also examine the structural neuroanatomical correlates of individual differences in this ability at older ages, based on a recent study using voxel-based morphometry. These findings will be discussed in relation to current hypotheses on age-related differences in emotional functioning.

César is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience – University College London. His research interests focus on how we communicate and perceive emotions via nonverbal cues, such as speech prosody, facial expressions, and nonverbal vocalizations. Please find the abstract of his talk below.

If you would like to meet with him to talk about research, please email us.