Semantic category effect and emotional valence in female university students

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Abstract

The semantic category effect represents a category dissociation between biological and nonbiological objects in picture naming. The aim of this preliminary study was to further examine this phenomenon, and to explore the possible association between the effect and subjective emotional valence for the named objects. Using a speeded picture naming task, vocal reaction times for 45 items were divided into four categories based on emotional valence rating and semantic category, and examined in 36 female university students. Analyses of the data indicated an “animate/inanimate” category dissociation favouring animate objects, in tandem with a potential relationship between subjective emotional valence and semantic processing underlying picture naming.

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