Feel between the lines: Implied emotion in sentence comprehension

Vicky Tzuyin Lai, Roel M. Willems, Peter Hagoort

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


This study investigated the brain regions for the comprehension of implied emotion in sentences. Participants read negative sentences without negative words, for example, “The boy fell asleep and never woke up again,” and their neutral counterparts “The boy stood up and grabbed his bag.” This kind of negative sentence allows us to examine implied emotion derived at the sentence level, without associative emotion coming from word retrieval. We found that implied emotion in sentences, relative to neutral sentences, led to activation in some emotion-related areas, including the medial prefrontal cortex, the amygdala, and the insula, as well as certain languagerelated areas, including the inferior frontal gyrus, which has been implicated in combinatorial processing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1528-1541
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of cognitive neuroscience
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 29 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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