Emotion unfolded by motion: a role for parietal lobe in decoding dynamic facial expressions

P. Sarkheil, R. Goebel, F. Schneider, K. Mathiak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Facial expressions convey important emotional and social information and are frequently applied in investigations of human affective processing. Dynamic faces may provide higher ecological validity to examine perceptual and cognitive processing of facial expressions. Higher order processing of emotional faces was addressed by varying the task and virtual face models systematically. Blood oxygenation level-dependent activation was assessed using functional magnetic resonance imaging in 20 healthy volunteers while viewing and evaluating either emotion or gender intensity of dynamic face stimuli. A general linear model analysis revealed that high valence activated a network of motion-responsive areas, indicating that visual motion areas support perceptual coding for the motion-based intensity of facial expressions. The comparison of emotion with gender discrimination task revealed increased activation of inferior parietal lobule, which highlights the involvement of parietal areas in processing of high level features of faces. Dynamic emotional stimuli may help to emphasize functions of the hypothesized 'extended' over the 'core' system for face processing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)950-957
Number of pages8
JournalSocial Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Volume8
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013

Keywords

  • dynamic facial expressions
  • emotion perception
  • emotion-cognition interaction
  • inferior parietal lobule
  • RECOGNIZING MOVING FACES
  • OBJECT RECOGNITION
  • AMYGDALA RESPONSES
  • NEURAL MECHANISMS
  • HUMAN BRAIN
  • INFORMATION
  • PERCEPTION
  • DISCRIMINATION
  • SCHIZOPHRENIA
  • FMRI

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