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Subcortical amygdala pathways enable rapid face processing.

Garvert, MM; Friston, KJ; Dolan, RJ; Garrido, MI; (2014) Subcortical amygdala pathways enable rapid face processing. Neuroimage , 102 (2) pp. 309-316. 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2014.07.047. Green open access

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Abstract

Human faces may signal relevant information and are therefore analysed rapidly and effectively by the brain. However, the precise mechanisms and pathways involved in rapid face processing are unclear. One view posits a role for a subcortical connection between early visual sensory regions and the amygdala, while an alternative account emphasises cortical mediation. To adjudicate between these functional architectures, we recorded magnetoencephalographic (MEG) evoked fields in human subjects to presentation of faces with varying emotional valence. Early brain activity was better explained by dynamic causal models containing a direct subcortical connection to the amygdala irrespective of emotional modulation. At longer latencies, models without a subcortical connection had comparable evidence. Hence, our results support the hypothesis that a subcortical pathway to the amygdala plays a role in rapid sensory processing of faces, in particular during early stimulus processing. This finding contributes to an understanding of the amygdala as a behavioural relevance detector.

Type: Article
Title: Subcortical amygdala pathways enable rapid face processing.
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2014.07.047
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2014.07.047
Additional information: © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/).
Keywords: Amygdala, Connectivity, Dynamic causal modelling, MEG, Subcortical processing
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Imaging Neuroscience
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1443113
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