MEG Evidence for Dynamic Amygdala Modulations by Gaze and Facial Emotions

Abstract : Amygdala is a key brain region for face perception. While the role of amygdala in the perception of facial emotion and gaze has been extensively highlighted with fMRI, the unfolding in time of amydgala responses to emotional versus neutral faces with different gaze directions is scarcely known.Here we addressed this question in healthy subjects using MEG combined with an original source imaging method based on individual amygdala volume segmentation and the localization of sources in the amygdala volume. We found an early peak of amygdala activity that was enhanced for fearful relative to neutral faces between 130 and 170 ms. The effect of emotion was again significant in a later time range (310–350 ms). Moreover, the amygdala response was greater for direct relative averted gaze between 190 and 350 ms, and this effect was selective of fearful faces in the right amygdala.Altogether, our results show that the amygdala is involved in the processing and integration of emotion and gaze cues from faces in different time ranges, thus underlining its role in multiple stages of face perception.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, November 19, 2014 - 3:44:06 AM
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Thibaud Dumas, Stéphanie Dubal, Yohan Attal, Marie Chupin, Roland Jouvent, et al.. MEG Evidence for Dynamic Amygdala Modulations by Gaze and Facial Emotions. PLoS ONE, Public Library of Science, 2013, 8 (9), pp.e74145. ⟨10.1371/journal.pone.0074145⟩. ⟨hal-01084314⟩

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