Wednesday Seminar: Emotions in the proactive bilingual brain: Evidence from electrophysiology

Rafał Jończyk, Assistant Professor in the Department of English Pragmatics at the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań (Poland), will give a talk on emotions and the bilingual brain.  

I am fascinated by how our mind perceives and interprets the pervasive emotional cues that are part and parcel of social interaction. As a linguist, I have been particularly interested in the interplay between language and emotion. While there is rather consistent evidence previewdemonstrating facilitatory processing of emotional relative to neutral language in monolingual speakers, we still know relatively little about language-emotion interactions in speakers of more than one language. May it be the case that emotional content carries different weight in our first and second language(s) If so, could it also modulate our anticipation and memory of emotional events?

In this talk, I will build on existing introspective, decision-making, and neurocognitive research on bilingualism and emotion which suggests that, in certain contexts, bilingual individuals may be less affected by negative information when it is presented in their second language. Following a review of studies in the field, I will turn to a discussion of two electrophysiological experiments conducted by our research team that measured neural responses to emotional sentences (experiment 1) and anticipation of upcoming emotional events (experiment 2) in Polish–English bilinguals. Both experiments provide neurophysiological evidence pointing to attenuated emotional anticipation of and reaction to negative information in the second language. Towards the end of my talk, I will also touch upon two undergoing projects that explore (1) the neurophysiology of emotional memory in bilingualism and (2) the interplay between emotion, bilingualism, and creativity.



Dr. Rafał Jończyk is an assistant professor in the Department of English Pragmatics at the Faculty of English, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poland. His primary research interests include the interaction between bilingualism and emotion, affective pragmatics, neurophysiology of creativity as well as methods in electrophysiological data analysis. He is an author of Affect-Language Interactions in Native and Non-Native English Speakers: A Neuropragmatic Perspective (Springer, 2016). He has been in close collaboration with the School of Psychology at Bangor University and the Department of Psychology at the Pennsylvania State University where he was a postdoctoral scholar between 2017 and 2018 working on the neuroscience of creativity.


Paweł Urbanik
Published Aug. 30, 2019 5:04 PM - Last modified Feb. 14, 2020 3:31 AM