It is widely assumed that the fusiform face area (FFA), a face selective brain region located in the ventral temporal lobes, is not involved in processing emotional expressions. This proposal is based on the idea that the FFA is part of a visual pathway involved in face identification that analyses features that are invariant across emotional expressions. The present study used multi-voxel pattern analysis to examine whether viewing different emotional expressions elicited distinct patterns of activity within the FFA. Brain imaging data were collected while observers (n = 12) viewed images of faces expressing six different emotions and images of houses. Multi-voxel pattern analysis showed that between category classification (faces vs. houses) was accurate in both the left and right FFA. In contrast, accurate classification of different emotional expressions was only reliable for patterns evoked in the left FFA. These results suggest that the left FFA processes features that vary across emotional expressions.
|Number of pages||2|
|Journal||Clinical EEG and neuroscience|
|Publication status||Published - 2012|
|Event||Australasian Cognitive Neurosciences Conference (21st : 2011) - Sydney|
Duration: 9 Dec 2011 → 12 Dec 2011