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Affective prosody, or the changes in rate, rhythm, pitch, and loudness that convey emotion, has long been implicated as a function of the right hemisphere (RH), yet there is a dearth of literature identifying the specific neural regions associated with its processing. The current systematic review aimed to evaluate the evidence on affective prosody localization in the RH. One hundred and ninety articles from 1970 to February 2020 investigating affective prosody comprehension and production in patients with focal brain damage were identified via database searches. Eleven articles met inclusion criteria, passed quality reviews, and were analyzed for affective prosody localization. Acute, subacute, and chronic lesions demonstrated similar profile characteristics. Localized right antero-superior (i.e., dorsal stream) regions contributed to affective prosody production impairments, whereas damage to more postero-lateral (i.e., ventral stream) regions resulted in affective prosody comprehension deficits. This review provides support that distinct RH regions are vital for affective prosody comprehension and production, aligning with literature reporting RH activation for affective prosody processing in healthy adults as well. The impact of study design on resulting interpretations is discussed.


NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Brain and Cognition. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Brain and Cognition, volume 152, in 2021.

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