Electrophysiological correlates of the efficient detection of emotional facial expressions.

Abstract:

:Behavioral studies have shown that emotional facial expressions are detected more rapidly and accurately than are neutral expressions. However, the neural mechanism underlying this efficient detection has remained unclear. To investigate this mechanism, we measured event-related potentials (ERPs) during a visual search task in which participants detected the normal emotional facial expressions of anger and happiness or their control stimuli, termed "anti-expressions," within crowds of neutral expressions. The anti-expressions, which were created using a morphing technique that produced changes equivalent to those in the normal emotional facial expressions compared with the neutral facial expressions, were most frequently recognized as emotionally neutral. Behaviorally, normal expressions were detected faster and more accurately and were rated as more emotionally arousing than were the anti-expressions. Regarding ERPs, the normal expressions elicited larger early posterior negativity (EPN) at 200-400ms compared with anti-expressions. Furthermore, larger EPN was related to faster and more accurate detection and higher emotional arousal. These data suggest that the efficient detection of emotional facial expressions is implemented via enhanced activation of the posterior visual cortices at 200-400ms based on their emotional significance.

journal_name

Brain Res

journal_title

Brain research

authors

Sawada R,Sato W,Uono S,Kochiyama T,Toichi M

doi

10.1016/j.brainres.2014.02.046

subject

Has Abstract

pub_date

2014-04-29 00:00:00

pages

60-72

eissn

0006-8993

issn

1872-6240

pii

S0006-8993(14)00304-7

journal_volume

1560

pub_type

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