Monday, June 20, 2016

Brain Emotion Signatures

Did you know that each emotion leaves its own unique signature in the brain? Led by Thomas Ethofer, researchers at the University Medical Center of Geneva, Switzerland have identified spatial signatures of emotion in an areas of the temporal lobes at each side of the brain. Known as the primary auditory cortex or PAC, these area are responsible for decoding the sensation of sound. Scientists knew that the PAC tends to react more strongly to emotional vocalizations than to neutral speech, but because the activity increase is similar for all emotions, existing scanning equipment had not allowed them to separate one emotion from another. Ethofer scanned participant brains using fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) while they listened to emotional speech. Researchers then combined fMRI with multivariate pattern analysis (MVPA) used to identify patterns in brain activation. This allowed them to identify the specific emotion in the listener participant’s brain by identifying the listener’s brain activity. More tomorrow.

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