This research was supported by NARSAD, MH064159, MH082998, and the University of Pittsburgh Pilot Neuroimaging Program. Kyung Hwa Lee is now at Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. We gratefully acknowledge contributions of the volunteers who participated in this study as well as Lisa Farace, Agnes Haggerty, Emilie Mulley, and Thomas Kraynak for their help with data collection and proofreading.
Different brain activity in response to emotional faces alone and augmented by contextual information
Article first published online: 25 JUN 2014
Copyright © 2014 Society for Psychophysiological Research
Volume 51, Issue 11, pages 1147–1157, November 2014
How to Cite
Lee, K. H. and Siegle, G. J. (2014), Different brain activity in response to emotional faces alone and augmented by contextual information. Psychophysiology, 51: 1147–1157. doi: 10.1111/psyp.12254
- Issue published online: 12 OCT 2014
- Article first published online: 25 JUN 2014
- Manuscript Accepted: 7 MAY 2014
- Manuscript Received: 7 OCT 2013
- NARSAD. Grant Numbers: MH064159, MH082998
- University of Pittsburgh Pilot Neuroimaging Program
- Emotional intensity;
This study examined the extent to which emotional face stimuli differ from the neural reactivity associated with more ecological contextually augmented stimuli. Participants were scanned when they viewed contextually rich pictures depicting both emotional faces and context, and pictures of emotional faces presented alone. Emotional faces alone were more strongly associated with brain activity in paralimbic and social information processing regions, whereas emotional faces augmented by context were associated with increased and sustained activity in regions potentially representing increased complexity and subjective emotional experience. Furthermore, context effects were modulated by emotional intensity and valence. These findings suggest that cortical elaboration that is apparent in contextually augmented stimuli may be missed in studies of emotional faces alone, whereas emotional faces may more selectively recruit limbic reactivity.