The objective of the study was to find out whether there is a connection between the perception of linguistic intonation contours and emotional intonation. Twenty-four subjects were asked to identify and discriminate emotional prosody listening to subtests 8A and 8B of the Tübinger Affect Battery as well as to 36 utterances that differed in linguistic intonation contour and were first presented normally and then low-pass-filtered. The subjects were divided into an older and a younger group in order to detect a possible age effect. The results showed that the ability to recognize and identify emotional prosody did not decline with age. These results are in contrast to the linguistic intonation contours, for which performance typically declined with age. Also, the low-pass-filtered utterances are more difficult to identify if the intonation contour is not salient, as in imperatives. Finally, the results do not show a gender difference. In sum the results indicate that emotional prosody and the reception of linguistic intonation contours seem to be processed by the same or similar brain structures.

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