Jun. Prof. Dr. Lars Kuchinke, Experimental Psychology, Faculty of Psychology
Our aim is to examine the role of aesthetic and emotional stimuli in human cognition and their modulation of cognitive and neural processing. This research aims primarily at word processing where different lexical but also affective variables contribute to a fast and accurate identification of a word. Functional brain imaging (fMRI) as well es event-related potenials are measured to study the contribution and the temporal dynamics of associated brain regions. Recently we expanded this work to examinations of affective picture processing that together with the examination of emotional words will help to distinguish between the two main models of affective space, a two-dimensional valence-arousal approach and categorical discrete emotion models. Both models explain significant proportions of the variances in human performance data and a future research will have to reveal their specific contributions.
A second reseach focus lies in the processing of aesthetic stimuli, i.e. music and film clips, and the examination of their neural correlates. Here we (in collaboration with colleagues from film studies) started to establish new experimental approaches to investigate empirical media aesthetics. Research questions focus on the emotional and empathic responses in the spectator, elicted by aesthetic aspects of the audiovisual images such as film music, affective context and film analytically defined forms of the moving images dedicated to shape emotions.
For more information go to: http://homepage.ruhr-uni-bochum.de/Lars.Kuchinke/