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Amygdala activation at 3T in response to human and avatar facial expressions of emotions.
J Neurosci Methods. 2007 Mar 30; 161(1):126-33.JN

Abstract

Facial expressions of emotions are important in nonverbal communication. Although numerous neural structures have been identified to be involved in emotional face processing, the amygdala is thought to be a core moderator. While previous studies have relied on facial images of humans, the present study is concerned with the effect of computer-generated (avatar) emotional faces on amygdala activation. Moreover, elicited activation patterns in response to viewing avatar faces are compared with the neuronal responses to human facial expressions of emotions. Twelve healthy subjects (five females) performed facial emotion recognition tasks with optimized 3T event-related fMRI. Robust amygdala activation was apparent in response to both human and avatar emotional faces, but the response was significantly stronger to human faces in face-sensitive structures, i.e. fusiform gyri. We suggest that avatars could be a useful tool in neuroimaging studies of facial expression processing because they elicit amygdala activation similarly to human faces, yet have the advantage of being highly manipulable and fully controllable. However, the finding of differences between human and avatar faces in face-sensitive regions indicates the presence of mechanisms by which human brains can differentiate between them. This mechanism merits further investigation.

Authors+Show Affiliations

MR Centre of Excellence, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria. ewald.moser@meduniwien.ac.atNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

17126910

Citation

Moser, Ewald, et al. "Amygdala Activation at 3T in Response to Human and Avatar Facial Expressions of Emotions." Journal of Neuroscience Methods, vol. 161, no. 1, 2007, pp. 126-33.
Moser E, Derntl B, Robinson S, et al. Amygdala activation at 3T in response to human and avatar facial expressions of emotions. J Neurosci Methods. 2007;161(1):126-33.
Moser, E., Derntl, B., Robinson, S., Fink, B., Gur, R. C., & Grammer, K. (2007). Amygdala activation at 3T in response to human and avatar facial expressions of emotions. Journal of Neuroscience Methods, 161(1), 126-33.
Moser E, et al. Amygdala Activation at 3T in Response to Human and Avatar Facial Expressions of Emotions. J Neurosci Methods. 2007 Mar 30;161(1):126-33. PubMed PMID: 17126910.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Amygdala activation at 3T in response to human and avatar facial expressions of emotions. AU - Moser,Ewald, AU - Derntl,Birgit, AU - Robinson,Simon, AU - Fink,Bernhard, AU - Gur,Ruben C, AU - Grammer,Karl, Y1 - 2006/11/28/ PY - 2006/06/30/received PY - 2006/10/11/revised PY - 2006/10/11/accepted PY - 2006/11/28/pubmed PY - 2007/6/22/medline PY - 2006/11/28/entrez SP - 126 EP - 33 JF - Journal of neuroscience methods JO - J Neurosci Methods VL - 161 IS - 1 N2 - Facial expressions of emotions are important in nonverbal communication. Although numerous neural structures have been identified to be involved in emotional face processing, the amygdala is thought to be a core moderator. While previous studies have relied on facial images of humans, the present study is concerned with the effect of computer-generated (avatar) emotional faces on amygdala activation. Moreover, elicited activation patterns in response to viewing avatar faces are compared with the neuronal responses to human facial expressions of emotions. Twelve healthy subjects (five females) performed facial emotion recognition tasks with optimized 3T event-related fMRI. Robust amygdala activation was apparent in response to both human and avatar emotional faces, but the response was significantly stronger to human faces in face-sensitive structures, i.e. fusiform gyri. We suggest that avatars could be a useful tool in neuroimaging studies of facial expression processing because they elicit amygdala activation similarly to human faces, yet have the advantage of being highly manipulable and fully controllable. However, the finding of differences between human and avatar faces in face-sensitive regions indicates the presence of mechanisms by which human brains can differentiate between them. This mechanism merits further investigation. SN - 0165-0270 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/17126910/Amygdala_activation_at_3T_in_response_to_human_and_avatar_facial_expressions_of_emotions_ L2 - https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0165-0270(06)00508-5 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -