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Early Preferential Responses to Fear Stimuli in Human Right Dorsal Visual Stream--A Meg Study.

Meeren HK, Hadjikhani N, Ahlfors SP, Hämäläinen MS, de Gelder B - Sci Rep (2016)

Bottom Line: Emotional expressions of others are salient biological stimuli that automatically capture attention and prepare us for action.We investigated the early cortical dynamics of automatic visual discrimination of fearful body expressions by monitoring cortical activity using magnetoencephalography.We show that right parietal cortex distinguishes between fearful and neutral bodies as early as 80-ms after stimulus onset, providing the first evidence for a fast emotion-attention-action link through human dorsal visual stream.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience Laboratory, Tilburg University, Tilburg, The Netherlands.

ABSTRACT
Emotional expressions of others are salient biological stimuli that automatically capture attention and prepare us for action. We investigated the early cortical dynamics of automatic visual discrimination of fearful body expressions by monitoring cortical activity using magnetoencephalography. We show that right parietal cortex distinguishes between fearful and neutral bodies as early as 80-ms after stimulus onset, providing the first evidence for a fast emotion-attention-action link through human dorsal visual stream.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Experimental design.(A) Experimental conditions with examples of the visual stimuli. (B) Stimulus presentation paradigm. Subjects were instructed to make a button press at the appearance of a grey dot during Catch trials. Hence, the body stimulus and its emotional expression were task-irrelevant. Only trials without button press were analyzed.
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f3: Experimental design.(A) Experimental conditions with examples of the visual stimuli. (B) Stimulus presentation paradigm. Subjects were instructed to make a button press at the appearance of a grey dot during Catch trials. Hence, the body stimulus and its emotional expression were task-irrelevant. Only trials without button press were analyzed.

Mentions: Body stimuli were taken from our own validated dataset, previously used in behavioral634, EEG26 and fMRI studies535. They consisted of gray-scale images of whole bodies (4 males, 4 females) adopting a neutral or a fearful instrumental posture in which the faces were made invisible (for details see35). Stimuli were processed with photo-editing software in order to equalize contrast, brightness, and average luminance. To create control stimuli that contain the same spatial frequencies, luminance and contrast as their originals, all photographs were phase-scrambled using a two-dimensional Fast Fourier Transform. After randomizing the phases, scrambled images were constructed using the original amplitude spectrum. All images (photographs and scrambles) were pasted into a gray square (with an equal average gray value as the photographs), such that the final size of all stimuli was the same. Examples of the stimulus conditions can be found in Fig. 3A. Note that these images were previously used in an fMRI study5 and on that occasion a pilot experiment was run with a group of subjects (n = 10, six women, 24–33 years of age) to obtain data on evoked movement impression. The images were presented one by one in random order and subjects were instructed to rate the movement information on a five-point scale (from 1 for the weakest impression to 5 for the strongest). The mean ratings for the three categories were nearly identical (neutral, 3.5; fearful 3.5; and happy, 3.3). The possibility that the obtained differences in activation level were artifacts of differences in subjectively evoked movement can therefore safely be discarded.


Early Preferential Responses to Fear Stimuli in Human Right Dorsal Visual Stream--A Meg Study.

Meeren HK, Hadjikhani N, Ahlfors SP, Hämäläinen MS, de Gelder B - Sci Rep (2016)

Experimental design.(A) Experimental conditions with examples of the visual stimuli. (B) Stimulus presentation paradigm. Subjects were instructed to make a button press at the appearance of a grey dot during Catch trials. Hence, the body stimulus and its emotional expression were task-irrelevant. Only trials without button press were analyzed.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4837410&req=5

f3: Experimental design.(A) Experimental conditions with examples of the visual stimuli. (B) Stimulus presentation paradigm. Subjects were instructed to make a button press at the appearance of a grey dot during Catch trials. Hence, the body stimulus and its emotional expression were task-irrelevant. Only trials without button press were analyzed.
Mentions: Body stimuli were taken from our own validated dataset, previously used in behavioral634, EEG26 and fMRI studies535. They consisted of gray-scale images of whole bodies (4 males, 4 females) adopting a neutral or a fearful instrumental posture in which the faces were made invisible (for details see35). Stimuli were processed with photo-editing software in order to equalize contrast, brightness, and average luminance. To create control stimuli that contain the same spatial frequencies, luminance and contrast as their originals, all photographs were phase-scrambled using a two-dimensional Fast Fourier Transform. After randomizing the phases, scrambled images were constructed using the original amplitude spectrum. All images (photographs and scrambles) were pasted into a gray square (with an equal average gray value as the photographs), such that the final size of all stimuli was the same. Examples of the stimulus conditions can be found in Fig. 3A. Note that these images were previously used in an fMRI study5 and on that occasion a pilot experiment was run with a group of subjects (n = 10, six women, 24–33 years of age) to obtain data on evoked movement impression. The images were presented one by one in random order and subjects were instructed to rate the movement information on a five-point scale (from 1 for the weakest impression to 5 for the strongest). The mean ratings for the three categories were nearly identical (neutral, 3.5; fearful 3.5; and happy, 3.3). The possibility that the obtained differences in activation level were artifacts of differences in subjectively evoked movement can therefore safely be discarded.

Bottom Line: Emotional expressions of others are salient biological stimuli that automatically capture attention and prepare us for action.We investigated the early cortical dynamics of automatic visual discrimination of fearful body expressions by monitoring cortical activity using magnetoencephalography.We show that right parietal cortex distinguishes between fearful and neutral bodies as early as 80-ms after stimulus onset, providing the first evidence for a fast emotion-attention-action link through human dorsal visual stream.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience Laboratory, Tilburg University, Tilburg, The Netherlands.

ABSTRACT
Emotional expressions of others are salient biological stimuli that automatically capture attention and prepare us for action. We investigated the early cortical dynamics of automatic visual discrimination of fearful body expressions by monitoring cortical activity using magnetoencephalography. We show that right parietal cortex distinguishes between fearful and neutral bodies as early as 80-ms after stimulus onset, providing the first evidence for a fast emotion-attention-action link through human dorsal visual stream.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus