29 September 2017 from 14:30 to 15:45

PhD thesis defence Björn 't Hart on language and emotion

© iStockphoto.com/ismagilov

On Friday 29 September Björn 't Hart (Language and communication) will defend his PhD thesis on the interface between language and emotion in the University Hall in Utrecht.

Understanding and simulation

't Hart examined how we understand language, especially language that refers to emotions. Current theories suggest that, as part of our understanding of the word 'angry', we simulate the emotion with our facial expression. This can for example be seen in the corrugator supercilii, the frown muscle, which then absorbs light.

Good or bad characters

In his research, 't Hart looked at how a word like 'angry' is treated in two different situations: 1) if it describes the emotion of a nice or good character and 2) if it describes the emotion of a mean or bad character. His research showed that we deal with the same emotion-related stimulus differently depending on the further emotional context, especially our evaluation of the situation being referred to. This was evident from the frown muscle activity measured in his experiments.

Start date and time
29 September 2017 14:30
End date and time
29 September 2017 15:45
PhD candidate
Björn 't Hart
That's frowned upon: Using facial EMG to track evaluation and simulation during affective language processing
PhD supervisor(s)
Prof. Jos van BerkumDr Marijn Struiksma
Entrance fee