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Advances in Human-Computer Interaction
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 158487, 6 pages
Research Article

Heart Rate Responses to Synthesized Affective Spoken Words

Research Group for Emotions, Sociality, and Computing, Tampere Unit for Computer-Human Interaction (TAUCHI), School of Information Sciences, University of Tampere, Kanslerinrinne 1, FI-33014 University of Tampere, Finland

Received 7 March 2012; Revised 20 June 2012; Accepted 5 July 2012

Academic Editor: Eva Cerezo

Copyright © 2012 Mirja Ilves and Veikko Surakka. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The present study investigated the effects of brief synthesized spoken words with emotional content on the ratings of emotions and heart rate responses. Twenty participants' heart rate functioning was measured while they listened to a set of emotionally negative, neutral, and positive words produced by speech synthesizers. At the end of the experiment, ratings of emotional experiences were also collected. The results showed that the ratings of the words were in accordance with their valence. Heart rate deceleration was significantly the strongest and most prolonged to the negative stimuli. The findings are the first suggesting that brief spoken emotionally toned words evoke a similar heart rate response pattern found earlier for more sustained emotional stimuli.