Emotion Processing in the Visual Brain: A MEG Analysis
- 844 Downloads
Recent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and event-related brain potential (ERP) studies provide empirical support for the notion that emotional cues guide selective attention. Extending this line of research, whole head magneto-encephalogram (MEG) was measured while participants viewed in separate experimental blocks a continuous stream of either pleasant and neutral or unpleasant and neutral pictures, presented for 330 ms each. Event-related magnetic fields (ERF) were analyzed after intersubject sensor coregistration, complemented by minimum norm estimates (MNE) to explore neural generator sources. Both streams of analysis converge by demonstrating the selective emotion processing in an early (120–170 ms) and a late time interval (220–310 ms). ERF analysis revealed that the polarity of the emotion difference fields was reversed across early and late intervals suggesting distinct patterns of activation in the visual processing stream. Source analysis revealed the amplified processing of emotional pictures in visual processing areas with more pronounced occipito-parieto-temporal activation in the early time interval, and a stronger engagement of more anterior, temporal, regions in the later interval. Confirming previous ERP studies showing facilitated emotion processing, the present data suggest that MEG provides a complementary look at the spread of activation in the visual processing stream.
KeywordsEmotion Attention MEG ERF ERP Early posterior negativity
- 2.Bradley MM. Emotion and motivation. In: Cacioppo JT, Tassinary LG, Berntson G, editors. Handbook of psychophysiology. New York: Cambridge University Press; 2000. p. 602–642.Google Scholar
- 5.Buodo G, Peyk P, Junghöfer M, Palomba D, Rockstroh B. Electromagnetic indication of hypervigilant responses to emotional stimuli in blood-injection-injury fear. Neurosci Lett 2007;424(2):100–5.Google Scholar
- 13.Herbert C, Junghöfer M, Kissler J. Event related potentials to emotional adjectives during reading. Psychophysiology (in press).Google Scholar
- 17.Junghöfer M, Peyk P. Analysis of electrical potentials and magnetic fields of the brain. Matlab Select 2004;2:24–8. EMEGS software is freely available at http://www.emegs.org.
- 21.Lang PJ, Bradley MM, Cuthbert BN. International affective picture system (IAPS): affective ratings of pictures and instruction manual. Technical Report A-6. University of Florida, Gainesville, FL; 2005.Google Scholar
- 29.Peyk P, Schupp H, Keil A, Elbert TR, Junghöfer M. From ERPs to steady state: parallel processing of affective visual stimuli. Psychophysiology (under revision).Google Scholar
- 30.Putsche C, Dobel C, Schupp H, Kissler J, Pantev C, Junghöfer M. Odour conditioned faces attract preferential initial visual processing (submitted).Google Scholar