Effective connectivity within the distributed cortical network for face perception.

Institute of Neuroradiology, University of Zurich, Winterthurerstrasse 190, 8057 Zurich, Switzerland.
Cerebral Cortex (Impact Factor: 8.31). 11/2007; 17(10):2400-6. DOI: 10.1093/cercor/bhl148
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Face perception elicits activation within a distributed cortical network in the human brain. The network includes visual ("core") regions, as well as limbic and prefrontal ("extended") regions, which process invariant facial features and changeable aspects of faces, respectively. We used functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Dynamic Causal Modeling to investigate effective connectivity and functional organization between and within the core and the extended systems. We predicted a ventral rather than dorsal connection between the core and the extended systems during face viewing and tested whether valence and fame would alter functional coupling within the network. We found that the core system is hierarchically organized in a predominantly feed-forward fashion, and that the fusiform gyrus (FG) exerts the dominant influence on the extended system. Moreover, emotional faces increased the coupling between the FG and the amygdala, whereas famous faces increased the coupling between the FG and the orbitofrontal cortex. Our results demonstrate content-specific dynamic alterations in the functional coupling between visual-limbic and visual-prefrontal face-responsive pathways.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Emotional face processing is critically modulated by the serotonergic system, and serotonin (5-HT) receptor agonists impair emotional face processing. However, the specific contribution of the 5-HT1A receptor remains poorly understood. Here we investigated the spatiotemporal brain mechanisms underpinning the modulation of emotional face processing induced by buspirone, a partial 5-HT1A receptor agonist. In a psychophysical discrimination of emotional faces task, we observed that the discrimination fearful versus neutral faces were reduced, but not happy versus neutral faces. Electrical neuroimaging analyses were applied to visual evoked potentials elicited by emotional face images, after placebo and buspirone administration. Buspirone modulated response strength (i.e., global field power) in the interval 230-248ms after stimulus onset. Distributed source estimation over this time interval revealed that buspirone decreased the neural activity in the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex that was evoked by fearful faces. These results indicate temporal and valence-specific effects of buspirone on the neuronal correlates of emotional face processing. Furthermore, the reduced neural activity in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in response to fearful faces suggests a reduced attention to fearful faces. Collectively, these findings provide new insights into the role of 5-HT1A receptors in emotional face processing and have implications for affective disorders that are characterized by an increased attention to negative stimuli. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. and ECNP. All rights reserved.
    European neuropsychopharmacology: the journal of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology 01/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.euroneuro.2015.01.009 · 5.40 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus (iNPH) is a syndrome characterized by gait disturbance, cognitive deterioration and urinary incontinence in elderly individuals. These symptoms can be improved by shunt operation in some but not all patients. Therefore, discovering predictive factors for the surgical outcome is of great clinical importance. We used normalized power variance (NPV) of electroencephalography (EEG) waves, a sensitive measure of the instability of cortical electrical activity, and found significantly higher NPV in beta frequency band at the right fronto-temporo-occipital electrodes (Fp2, T4 and O2) in shunt responders compared to non-responders. By utilizing these differences, we were able to correctly identify responders and non-responders to shunt operation with a positive predictive value of 80% and a negative predictive value of 88%. Our findings indicate that NPV can be useful in noninvasively predicting the clinical outcome of shunt operation in patients with iNPH.
    Scientific Reports 01/2015; 5:7775. DOI:10.1038/srep07775 · 5.08 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The face perception system partly owes its efficiency to adaptive mechanisms that constantly recalibrate face coding to our current diet of faces. Moreover, faces that are better attended produce more adaptation. Here, we investigated whether the social cues conveyed by a face can influence the amount of adaptation that face induces. We compared the magnitude of face identity aftereffects induced by adaptors with direct and averted gazes. We reasoned that faces conveying direct gaze may be more engaging and better attended and thus produce larger aftereffects than those with averted gaze. Using an adaptation duration of 5 s, we found that aftereffects for adaptors with direct and averted gazes did not differ (Experiment 1). However, when processing demands were increased by reducing adaptation duration to 1 s, we found that gaze direction did affect the magnitude of the aftereffect, but in an unexpected direction: Aftereffects were larger for adaptors with averted rather than direct gaze (Experiment 2). Eye tracking revealed that differences in looking time to the faces between the two gaze directions could not account for these findings. Subsequent ratings of the stimuli (Experiment 3) showed that adaptors with averted gaze were actually perceived as more expressive and interesting than adaptors with direct gaze. Therefore it appears that the averted-gaze faces were more engaging and better attended, leading to larger aftereffects. Overall, our results suggest that naturally occurring facial signals can modulate the adaptive impact a face exerts on our perceptual system. Specifically, the faces that we perceive as most interesting also appear to calibrate the organization of our perceptual system most strongly. © 2015 ARVO.
    Journal of Vision 02/2015; 15(2):1-12. DOI:10.1167/15.2.22 · 2.73 Impact Factor


Available from
May 22, 2014