Voice is our primary communication tool. In addition to being the vehicle for speech, it is also the vehicle for a source of non-verbal information. As an 'auditory face', the voice gives us, for example, information about the speaker's gender, identity, or emotional state. In this conference I will discuss how we decode emotions into vocal cues, either based on modulations of voice tone (speech prosody), or based on purely non-verbal vocalizations such as laughing or crying. The neurocognitive mechanisms of vocal emotional processing will be addressed, as well as factors that determine why some people are excellent at recognizing emotions and others have difficulties. I will present a series of behavioral and neuroimaging studies in this context, which combine evidence from typical and specialist samples, such as older adults, professional musicians, people with congenital amusia, and children at risk for psychopathy. I will argue that an individual differences approach will be key to progress in our understanding of the neurobiology of emotions and auditory communication.
Professor Doctor César Lima
César Lima is Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University Institute of Lisbon (ISCTE-IUL). His research focuses on the psychology and neurobiology of vocal communication, emotions and music. It combines methods from experimental psychology and cognitive neuroscience to address these topics, in healthy individuals of all ages, in specialized populations (eg, musicians) and in clinical populations (eg, with neurological or psychiatric disorders). He has published over 30 articles in journals including Emotion, Cerebral Cortex, Brain, Current Biology, Trends in Neurosciences and Nature Reviews Neuroscience. César Lima is on the editorial board of Scientific Reports (Neuroscience category) and Royal Society Open Science (Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience category). Before joining ISCTE-IUL, César Lima received a PhD in Psychology at the University of Porto (2008-2011), was a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience – University College London (2012-2016) and returned to the University of Porto. as an Assistant Researcher under the FCT Researcher program (2016-2017). His work as principal investigator has been funded by the British Academy and the Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT). At ISCTE-IUL, he has taught Psychophysiology and Genetics, Neuropsychology, Reasoning and Language, Biological Basis of Emotions, and Advances in Affective Neurosciences.
Department of Psychology