The Nonverbal Affect Lexicon: Theoretical Perspectives From Neuropsychological Studies of Affect Perception

Academic Article


  • This article reviews evidence from neuropsychological studies of affect perception, which suggest that the right hemisphere contains a vocabulary of nonverbal affective signals (facial expressions, prosody, and gestures). We refer to this vocabulary as the nonverbal affect lexicon and review evidence suggesting that it is modular in organization, with independent lexicons for faces and prosody. In our view, the affect lexicon represents one component of a cortically based affect-processing network that is dedicated to reading the nonverbal social displays of other members of the species. Discordances between this cortical affect system and other components of the emotion enterprise are discussed, as well as the relationship of the nonverbal affect lexicon to valence-related asymmetries.
  • Authors

    Published In

  • Neuropsychology  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Bowers D; Bauer RM; Heilman KM
  • Start Page

  • 433
  • End Page

  • 444
  • Volume

  • 7
  • Issue

  • 4