Perceptual and affective experiences of emotion are the product of an integration of bodily signals in the brain, and are intrinsically related to introspection, the capacity to reflect upon our own internal states. This process has been associated with activity in the anterior prefrontal cortex (aPFC). However, it is not yet clear whether the aPFC plays a causal role in the processing of subjective experience of emotion, the integration of bodily signals, and embodiment. To investigate this issue, we applied continuous Theta Burst stimulation over bilateral aPFC, combined with facial electromyography and skin conductance recording, in a paradigm of detection of emotional facial expressions. Before and after aPFC disruption, we presented video morphs of gradual changes of facial expressions (ON: Neutral to Happy/Angry or Identity; and OFF: Happy/Angry or Identity to Neutral). On each trial, subjects were invited to (1) Detect the moment of a facial expression change, (2) identify the direction of the change (accuracy) and to (3) rate their level of confidence (Introspective task). During the task, facial electromyography and skin conductance were recorded. This experimental setup allowed us to track the moment when subjects become aware of changes in facial expression and to observe the neurophysiological correlates of embodiment associated to facial expression detection. A comparison of the performance and the neurophysiological measures obtained before and after aPFC disruption would allow us to understand the contribution of this area to emotional detection and the associated introspective awareness.
|Publication status||Published - Apr 2016|
|Event||Social and Affective Neuroscience Society - New York University, New York, United States|
Duration: 28 Apr 2016 → 30 Apr 2016
|Conference||Social and Affective Neuroscience Society|
|Period||28/04/16 → 30/04/16|