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Retention of identity versus expression of emotional faces differs in the recruitment of limbic areas

Röder, Christian H., Mohr, Harald and Linden, David Edmund Johannes 2011. Retention of identity versus expression of emotional faces differs in the recruitment of limbic areas. Neuropsychologia 49 (3) , pp. 444-453. 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2010.11.040

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Faces are multidimensional stimuli that convey information for complex social and emotional functions. Separate neural systems have been implicated in the recognition of facial identity (mainly extrastriate visual cortex) and emotionalexpression (limbicareas and the superior temporal sulcus). Working-memory (WM) studies with faces have shown different but partly overlapping activation patterns in comparison to spatial WM in parietal and prefrontal areas. However, little is known about the neural representations of the different facial dimensions during WM. In the present study 22 subjects performed a face-identity or face-emotion WM task at different load levels during functional magnetic resonance imaging. We found a fronto-parietal-visual WM-network for both tasks during maintenance, including fusiform gyrus. Limbicareas in the amygdala and parahippocampal gyrus demonstrated a stronger activation for the identity than the emotion condition. One explanation for this finding is that the repetitive presentation of faces with different identities but the same emotionalexpression during the identity-task is responsible for the stronger increase in BOLD signal in the amygdala. These results raise the question how different emotionalexpressions are coded in WM. Our findings suggest that emotionalexpressions are re-coded in an abstract representation that is supported at the neural level by the canonical fronto-parietal WM network.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics (CNGG)
Neuroscience and Mental Health Research Institute (NMHRI)
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Uncontrolled Keywords: Amygdala; Emotion; Face; FMRI; Identity; Maintenance
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0028-3932
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 03:46

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