Rapid neural discrimination of communicative gestures

Elizabeth Redcay*, Thomas A. Carlson

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    16 Citations (Scopus)


    Humans are biased toward social interaction. Behaviorally, this bias is evident in the rapid effects that self-relevant communicative signals have on attention and perceptual systems. The processing of communicative cues recruits a wide network of brain regions, including mentalizing systems. Relatively less work, however, has examined the timing of the processing of self-relevant communicative cues. In the present study, we used multivariate pattern analysis (decoding) approach to the analysis of magnetoencephalography (MEG) to study the processing dynamics of social-communicative actions. Twenty-four participants viewed images of a woman performing actions that varied on a continuum of communicative factors including selfrelevance (to the participant) and emotional valence, while their brain activity was recorded using MEG. Controlling for low-level visual factors, we found early discrimination of emotional valence (70 ms) and self-relevant communicative signals (100 ms). These data offer neural support for the robust and rapid effects of self-relevant communicative cues on behavior.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article numbernsu089
    Pages (from-to)545-551
    Number of pages7
    JournalSocial Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
    Issue number4
    Early online date23 Jun 2014
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2015


    • Communicative cues
    • Decoding
    • Magnetoencephalography
    • Multivariate pattern analysis
    • Social cognition


    Dive into the research topics of 'Rapid neural discrimination of communicative gestures'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this