3 years ago

The effect of constraining eye-contact during dynamic emotional face perception - an fMRI study.

Zurcher N, Hippolyte L, Hadjikhani N, Lassalle A, Åsberg Johnels J, Ward N
Eye-contact modifies how we perceive emotions and modulates activity in the social brain network. Here, using fMRI, we demonstrate that adding a fixation cross in the eye region of dynamic facial emotional stimuli significantly increases activation in the social brain of healthy, neurotypical participants when compared with activation for the exact same stimuli observed in a free-viewing mode. In addition, using PPI analysis, we show that the degree of amygdala connectivity with the rest of the brain is enhanced for the constrained view for all emotions tested except for fear, and that anxiety and alexithymia modulate the strength of amygdala connectivity for each emotion differently. Finally, we show that autistic traits have opposite effects on amygdala connectivity for fearful and angry emotional expressions, suggesting that these emotions should be treated separately in studies investigating facial emotion processing.

Publisher URL: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28402536

DOI: PubMed:28402536

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