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  Conscious and non-conscious representations of emotional faces in Asperger's syndrome

Chien, V., Tsai, A. C., Yang, H. H., Tseng, Y.-L., Savostyanov, A. N., & Liou, M. (2016). Conscious and non-conscious representations of emotional faces in Asperger's syndrome. Journal of Visualized Experiments, 113: e53962. doi:10.3791/53962.

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Chien, Vincent1, 2, Author           
Tsai, Arthur C.1, Author
Yang, Han Hsuan3, Author
Tseng, Yi-Li4, Author
Savostyanov, Alexander N.5, 6, Author
Liou, Michelle1, 7, Author
1Institute of Statistical Science, Academia Sinica, Taipeh, Taiwan, ou_persistent22              
2Methods and Development Group MEG and EEG - Cortical Networks and Cognitive Functions, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society, Leipzig, DE, ou_2205650              
3Department of Psychology, Fo Guang University, Jiaoxi, Taiwan, ou_persistent22              
4Department of Electrical Engineering, Fu Jen Catholic University, New Taipei City, Taiwan, ou_persistent22              
5State Research Institute of Physiology and Basic Medicine, Novosibirsk, Russia, ou_persistent22              
6Novosibirsk State University, Russia, ou_persistent22              
7Imaging Research Center, Taipei Medical University, Taiwan, ou_persistent22              


Free keywords: Asperger's syndrome; Electrical brain activity; Event-related potentials; Event-related spectral perturbations; Facial emotion recognition; Spatial frequency
 Abstract: Several neuroimaging studies have suggested that the low spatial frequency content in an emotional face mainly activates the amygdala, pulvinar, and superior colliculus especially with fearful faces1-3. These regions constitute the limbic structure in non-conscious perception of emotions and modulate cortical activity either directly or indirectly2. In contrast, the conscious representation of emotions is more pronounced in the anterior cingulate, prefrontal cortex, and somatosensory cortex for directing voluntary attention to details in faces3,4. Asperger's syndrome (AS)5,6 represents an atypical mental disturbance that affects sensory, affective and communicative abilities, without interfering with normal linguistic skills and intellectual ability. Several studies have found that functional deficits in the neural circuitry important for facial emotion recognition can partly explain social communication failure in patients with AS7-9. In order to clarify the interplay between conscious and non-conscious representations of emotional faces in AS, an EEG experimental protocol is designed with two tasks involving emotionality evaluation of either photograph or line-drawing faces. A pilot study is introduced for selecting face stimuli that minimize the differences in reaction times and scores assigned to facial emotions between the pretested patients with AS and IQ/gender-matched healthy controls. Information from the pretested patients was used to develop the scoring system used for the emotionality evaluation. Research into facial emotions and visual stimuli with different spatial frequency contents has reached discrepant findings depending on the demographic characteristics of participants and task demands2. The experimental protocol is intended to clarify deficits in patients with AS in processing emotional faces when compared with healthy controls by controlling for factors unrelated to recognition of facial emotions, such as task difficulty, IQ and gender.


Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2016-07-31
 Publication Status: Published online
 Pages: -
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Type: -
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.3791/53962
PMID: 27500602
PMC: PMC5091702
 Degree: -



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Source 1

Title: Journal of Visualized Experiments
  Other : Journal of Visualized Experiments: JoVE
  Abbreviation : J. Vis. Exp.
Source Genre: Journal
Publ. Info: Rockville Pike, Bethesda MD : JoVE
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 113 Sequence Number: e53962 Start / End Page: - Identifier: ISSN: 1940-087X
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/1940087X