Processing of disgusted faces is facilitated by odor primes: A functional MRI study
ABSTRACT Facilitation of emotional face recognition is an established phenomenon for audiovisual crossmodal stimulation, but not for other sensory modalities. The present study used a crossmodal priming task to identify brain systems controlling olfactory-visual interactions during emotion processing. BOLD fMRI was acquired for 44 healthy subjects during an emotional face discrimination task preceded by an emotionally valenced odorant. Behavioral performance showed that recognition of disgusted faces was improved by the presentation of an olfactory stimulus irrespective of its emotional valence. No such facilitation was seen for other facial expressions. The neuroimaging data showed a selective default network responsivity to emotional faces which was modulated by odor condition. Among disgust faces, hypoactivations during trials preceded by odorants indicated the presence of priming effects. Consistent with studies investigating the brain systems associated with audiovisual emotional integration, activity modulations in clusters in fusiform gyrus, middle frontal and middle cingulate gyrus corresponded to the observed behavioral facilitation. Our study further shows modulation of signal in the anterior insula during trials combining negatively valenced odor and disgusted faces, suggesting a modality-specific mechanism for integration of the disgust response and olfaction. These results indicate the presence of a central network with modality-specific and -unspecific components modulating emotional face recognition.
- SourceAvailable from: Pierre Maurage[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Olfaction research deeply renewed the knowledge of the pathophysiological mechanisms involved in various psychopathological states and showed that olfactory deficits might constitute an onset or trait marker in psychiatry. However, while alcohol-dependence is the most wide spread psychiatric disorder and while olfaction might be involved in its development and maintenance, olfactory abilities have been little explored in this population. The central aim of this paper is thus to underline the usefulness of olfaction research in alcohol-dependence. After reviewing the few olfaction studies available, a research agenda will be proposed, identifying the major challenges for future research, and particularly: (1) the identification of the origin, extent and cerebral correlates of olfaction deficits; (2) the links between olfaction and emotional-cognitive deficits, and the use of olfaction to understand the pathomechanisms of alcohol-dependence; (3) the interactions between olfaction and other sensory modalities; (4) the use of olfaction to predict the appearance and intensity of cognitive impairments; (5) the impact of olfaction deficits on everyday life in alcohol-dependence.Frontiers in Psychology 01/2014; 4:1007. DOI:10.3389/fpsyg.2013.01007 · 2.80 Impact Factor
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The rapid demographical shift occurring in our society implies that understanding of healthy aging and age-related diseases is one of our major future challenges. Sensory impairments have an enormous impact on our lives and are closely linked to cognitive functioning. Due to the inherent complexity of sensory perceptions, we are commonly presented with a complex multisensory stimulation and the brain integrates the information from the individual sensory channels into a unique and holistic percept. The cerebral processes involved are essential for our perception of sensory stimuli and becomes especially important during the perception of emotional content. Despite ongoing deterioration of the individual sensory systems during aging, there is evidence for an increase in, or maintenance of, multisensory integration processing in aging individuals. Within this comprehensive literature review on multisensory integration we aim to highlight basic mechanisms and potential compensatory strategies the human brain utilizes to help maintain multisensory integration capabilities during healthy aging to facilitate a broader understanding of age-related pathological conditions. Further our goal was to identify where further research is needed.Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 12/2013; 7:863. DOI:10.3389/fnhum.2013.00863 · 2.90 Impact Factor
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: A successful reciprocal evaluation of social signals serves as a prerequisite for social coherence and empathy. In a previous fMRI study we studied naturalistic communication situations by presenting video clips to our participants and recording their behavioral responses regarding empathy and its components. In two conditions, all three channels transported congruent emotional or neutral information, respectively. Three conditions selectively presented two emotional channels and one neutral channel and were thus bimodally emotional. We reported channel-specific emotional contributions in modality-related areas, elicited by dynamic video clips with varying combinations of emotionality in facial expressions, prosody, and speech content. However, to better understand the underlying mechanisms accompanying a naturalistically displayed human social interaction in some key regions that presumably serve as specific processing hubs for facial expressions, prosody, and speech content, we pursued a reanalysis of the data. Here, we focused on two different descriptions of temporal characteristics within these three modality-related regions [right fusiform gyrus (FFG), left auditory cortex (AC), left angular gyrus (AG) and left dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (dmPFC)]. By means of a finite impulse response (FIR) analysis within each of the three regions we examined the post-stimulus time-courses as a description of the temporal characteristics of the BOLD response during the video clips. Second, effective connectivity between these areas and the left dmPFC was analyzed using dynamic causal modeling (DCM) in order to describe condition-related modulatory influences on the coupling between these regions. The FIR analysis showed initially diminished activation in bimodally emotional conditions but stronger activation than that observed in neutral videos toward the end of the stimuli, possibly by bottom-up processes in order to compensate for a lack of emotional information. The DCM analysis instead showed a pronounced top-down control. Remarkably, all connections from the dmPFC to the three other regions were modulated by the experimental conditions. This observation is in line with the presumed role of the dmPFC in the allocation of attention. In contrary, all incoming connections to the AG were modulated, indicating its key role in integrating multimodal information and supporting comprehension. Notably, the input from the FFG to the AG was enhanced when facial expressions conveyed emotional information. These findings serve as preliminary results in understanding network dynamics in human emotional communication and empathy.Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 11/2013; 7:754. DOI:10.3389/fnhum.2013.00754 · 2.90 Impact Factor