Ocular Correlates of Auditory Emotion Recognition in Hearing-Impaired Listeners
* Presenting author
Hearing-impaired (HI) individuals are shown to perform worse in auditory emotion recognition tasks compared to normal hearing (NH) individuals, however, it is still unclear if this is a top-down, or bottom-up issue (Picou et al., 2018) i.e. whether the problem is based on how hierarchically low auditory regions are unable to process emotional stimuli accurately or how top-down processes are incapable of regulating and classifying emotional stimuli. An index of emotion recognition can be observed in pupil dilations, which have been shown to dilate more for emotional stimuli in comparison to neutral stimuli for visual emotion recognition, and recently also for emotional compared to neutral speech. In this study, we investigated pupil dilation and gaze fixations as a potential marker for emotion recognition in the HI population. We recorded pupil dilations and behavioural responses of NH and HI participants as they listened to emotional speech and vocalisations. By investigating the pupil’s response in this way, we present here insights into the ocular correlates of vocal emotion recognition in the HI population.