Amygdala responds to direct gaze in real but not in computer-generated faces

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Computer-generated (CG) faces are an important visual interface for human-computer interaction in social contexts. Here we investigated whether the human brain processes emotion and gaze similarly in real and carefully matched CG faces. Real faces evoked greater responses in the fusiform face area than CG faces, particularly for fearful expressions. Emotional (angry and fearful) facial expressions evoked similar activations in the amygdala in real and CG faces. Direct as compared with averted gaze elicited greater fMRI responses in the amygdala regardless of facial expression but only for real and not for CG faces. We observed an interaction effect between gaze and emotion (i.e., the shared signal effect) in the right posterior temporal sulcus and other regions, but not in the amygdala, and we found no evidence for different shared signal effects in real and CG faces. Taken together, the present findings highlight similarities (emotional processing in the amygdala) and differences (overall processing in the fusiform face area, gaze processing in the amygdala) in the neural processing of real and CG faces.

Original languageEnglish
Article number116216
Number of pages12
JournalNeuroimage
Volume204
Early online date22 Sep 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020

Keywords

  • FACIAL EXPRESSION
  • EYE CONTACT
  • HUMAN BRAIN
  • PERCEPTION
  • EMOTION
  • ACTIVATION
  • FMRI
  • METAANALYSIS
  • RECOGNITION
  • MECHANISMS

Cite this

@article{4a49bf3d828c455f863713b206f3783c,
title = "Amygdala responds to direct gaze in real but not in computer-generated faces",
abstract = "Computer-generated (CG) faces are an important visual interface for human-computer interaction in social contexts. Here we investigated whether the human brain processes emotion and gaze similarly in real and carefully matched CG faces. Real faces evoked greater responses in the fusiform face area than CG faces, particularly for fearful expressions. Emotional (angry and fearful) facial expressions evoked similar activations in the amygdala in real and CG faces. Direct as compared with averted gaze elicited greater fMRI responses in the amygdala regardless of facial expression but only for real and not for CG faces. We observed an interaction effect between gaze and emotion (i.e., the shared signal effect) in the right posterior temporal sulcus and other regions, but not in the amygdala, and we found no evidence for different shared signal effects in real and CG faces. Taken together, the present findings highlight similarities (emotional processing in the amygdala) and differences (overall processing in the fusiform face area, gaze processing in the amygdala) in the neural processing of real and CG faces.",
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author = "Jari K{\"a}tsyri and {de Gelder}, Beatrice and {de Borst}, Aline",
note = "Copyright {\circledC} 2019. Published by Elsevier Inc.",
year = "2020",
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doi = "10.1016/j.neuroimage.2019.116216",
language = "English",
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journal = "Neuroimage",
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Amygdala responds to direct gaze in real but not in computer-generated faces. / Kätsyri, Jari; de Gelder, Beatrice; de Borst, Aline.

In: Neuroimage, Vol. 204, 116216, 01.01.2020.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Amygdala responds to direct gaze in real but not in computer-generated faces

AU - Kätsyri, Jari

AU - de Gelder, Beatrice

AU - de Borst, Aline

N1 - Copyright © 2019. Published by Elsevier Inc.

PY - 2020/1/1

Y1 - 2020/1/1

N2 - Computer-generated (CG) faces are an important visual interface for human-computer interaction in social contexts. Here we investigated whether the human brain processes emotion and gaze similarly in real and carefully matched CG faces. Real faces evoked greater responses in the fusiform face area than CG faces, particularly for fearful expressions. Emotional (angry and fearful) facial expressions evoked similar activations in the amygdala in real and CG faces. Direct as compared with averted gaze elicited greater fMRI responses in the amygdala regardless of facial expression but only for real and not for CG faces. We observed an interaction effect between gaze and emotion (i.e., the shared signal effect) in the right posterior temporal sulcus and other regions, but not in the amygdala, and we found no evidence for different shared signal effects in real and CG faces. Taken together, the present findings highlight similarities (emotional processing in the amygdala) and differences (overall processing in the fusiform face area, gaze processing in the amygdala) in the neural processing of real and CG faces.

AB - Computer-generated (CG) faces are an important visual interface for human-computer interaction in social contexts. Here we investigated whether the human brain processes emotion and gaze similarly in real and carefully matched CG faces. Real faces evoked greater responses in the fusiform face area than CG faces, particularly for fearful expressions. Emotional (angry and fearful) facial expressions evoked similar activations in the amygdala in real and CG faces. Direct as compared with averted gaze elicited greater fMRI responses in the amygdala regardless of facial expression but only for real and not for CG faces. We observed an interaction effect between gaze and emotion (i.e., the shared signal effect) in the right posterior temporal sulcus and other regions, but not in the amygdala, and we found no evidence for different shared signal effects in real and CG faces. Taken together, the present findings highlight similarities (emotional processing in the amygdala) and differences (overall processing in the fusiform face area, gaze processing in the amygdala) in the neural processing of real and CG faces.

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KW - EYE CONTACT

KW - HUMAN BRAIN

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KW - EMOTION

KW - ACTIVATION

KW - FMRI

KW - METAANALYSIS

KW - RECOGNITION

KW - MECHANISMS

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