Jos van Berkum
Language comprehension, emotion and sociality
Thanks to language, humans are great at computing highly flexible discrete compositional structures such that they can refer to just about everything with great precision, in fictional worlds or the real one. However, we’re also a highly social species, using language to actually move each other around and to share what we care about. One can therefore expect to see intimate ties between language processing and systems involved in emotion and sociality. In my talk, I will discuss some of our work on emotional language processing, with a focus on the use of facial EMG (frowning muscle) recordings to track the comprehension of morally loaded narratives. Along the way, I will also briefly introduce the Affective Language Comprehension model, an attempt to decompose the rather fuzzy notion of ‘emotional language processing’ into something more precise.