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The superior temporal sulcus (STS) encompasses a complex set of regions involved in a wide range of cognitive functions. To understand its functional properties, neuromodulation approaches such brain stimulation or neurofeedback can be used. We investigated whether the posterior STS (pSTS), a core region in the face perception and imagery network, could be specifically identified based on the presence of dynamic facial expressions (and not just on simple motion or static face signals), and probed with neurofeedback. Recognition of facial expressions is critically impaired in autism spectrum disorder, making this region a relevant target for future clinical neurofeedback studies. We used a stringent localizer approach based on the contrast of dynamic facial expressions against static neutral faces plus moving dots. The target region had to be specifically responsive to dynamic facial expressions instead of mere motion and/or thepresence of a static face. The localizer was successful in selecting this region across subjects. Neurofeedback was then performed, using this region as a target, with two novel feedback rules (mean or derivative-based, using visual or auditory interfaces). Our results provide evidence that a facial expression-selective cluster in pSTS can be identified and may represent a suitable target for neurofeedback approaches, aiming at social and emotional cognition. These findings highlight the presence of a highly selective region in STS encoding dynamic aspects of facial expressions. Future studies should elucidate its role as a mechanistic target for neurofeedback strategies in clinical disorders of social cognition such as autism.
- Bruno Direito
- Marco Simões
- Alexandre Sayal
- Miguel Castelo-Branco
Tasksauditoryfeedback, faceexplocalizer, visualfeedback, nofeedback, Neurofeedback task using imagery of facial expressions based on a auditory interface, Localizer approach based on the contrast of dynamic facial expressions against static neutral faces plus moving dots. The target region had to be specifically responsive to dynamic facial expressions instead ofmere motion and/or the presence of a static face., Functional task using imagery of facial expressions without feedback (control run), Neurofeedback task using imagery of facial expressions based on a visual interface
Uploaded byBruno Direito on 2022-05-27 - about 1 month ago
Last Updated2022-06-13 - 14 days ago
AcknowledgementsWe thank Carlos Ferreira and Sónia Afonso for assistance with task and participant preparation, João Castelhano for assistance with Acquisition protocol and EEG-fMRI setup optimization
How to AcknowledgeIf you use these data, we invite you to cite the dataset and our paper 'https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0306452219301332'. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroscience.2019.02.024
- European project BRAINTRAIN-FP7-HEALTH-2013-INNOVATION-1-602186
- Fundacao para a Ciencia e Tecnologia (PEST - UID/NEU/04539/2013, COMPETE, POCI 01-0145-FEDER 007440, COMPETE, POCI 01-0145-FEDER 007440)
- MS is supported by the Fundacao para a Ciencia e Tecnologia (grant SFRH/2011/77044)
References and Links