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Cortico-subcortical visual, somatosensory, and motor activations for perceiving dynamic whole-body emotional expressions with and without striate cortex (V1)

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Abstract

Patients with striate cortex damage and clinical blindness retain the ability to process certain visual properties of stimuli that they are not aware of seeing. Here we investigated the neural correlates of residual visual perception for dynamic whole-body emotional actions. Angry and neutral emotional whole-body actions were presented in the intact and blind visual hemifield of a cortically blind patient with unilateral destruction of striate cortex. Comparisons of angry vs. neutral actions performed separately in the blind and intact visual hemifield showed in both cases increased activation in primary somatosensory, motor, and premotor cortices. Activations selective for intact hemifield presentation of angry compared with neutral actions were located subcortically in the right lateral geniculate nucleus and cortically in the superior temporal sulcus, prefrontal cortex, precuneus, and intraparietal sulcus. Activations specific for blind hemifield presentation of angry compared with neutral actions were found in the bilateral superior colliculus, pulvinar nucleus of the thalamus, amygdala, and right fusiform gyrus. Direct comparison of emotional modulation in the blind vs. intact visual hemifield revealed selective activity in the right superior colliculus and bilateral pulvinar for angry expressions, thereby showing a selective involvement of these subcortical structures in nonconscious visual emotion perception.

    Research areas

  • blindsight, body expressions, consciousness, NON-CONSCIOUS RECOGNITION, FACIAL EXPRESSIONS, AFFECTIVE BLINDSIGHT, AMYGDALA RESPONSES, BODILY EXPRESSIONS, MACAQUE MONKEY, AREA-MT, BRAIN, THREAT, FEAR
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Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16188-16193
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume108
Issue number39
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 27 Sep 2011