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What is the relationship between language and the nonverbal communication of emotion? Do we need words to have emotion concepts? Does a person’s emotion vocabulary influence their ability to recognise emotional expressions? These are some of the questions that the AICE lab addresses in our investigations of emotions and language.

We study the development of emotion perception in pre-verbal infants, to examine how babies understand emotional signals before they have words to describe them [YongQi Cong].

We also study linguistic emotion differentiation and how this relates to emotion recognition [Agneta Fischer].

In our research on the relationship between emotions and language, we also do cross-linguistic studies. Examples include comparisons of emotion perception and emotion concepts in speakers of languages that have different emotion vocabularies [Disa Sauter].

Relatedly, we also compare the use of emotion terms in speakers from cultures with different communication styles [Milena Feldkamp].

Key papers:

Oosterwijk, S., Winkielman, P., Pecher, D., Zeelenberg, R., Rotteveel, R., & Fischer, A.H. (2012). Mental states inside out: Switching costs for emotional and non-emotional sentences that differ in internal and external focus.  Memory and Cognition, 40, 93-100.

Sauter, D. A., Le Guen, O., & Haun, D. B. M. (2011). Categorical perception of emotional facial expressions does not require lexical categories.  Emotion, 11(6), 1479–1483.