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Neurons in the human amygdala encode face identity, but not gaze direction

Mormann, Florian and Niediek, Johannes and Tudusciuc, Oana and Quesada, Carlos M. and Coenen, Volker A. and Elger, Christian E. and Adolphs, Ralph (2015) Neurons in the human amygdala encode face identity, but not gaze direction. Nature Neuroscience, 18 (11). pp. 1568-1570. ISSN 1097-6256. PMCID PMC4624486.

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[img] Image (JPEG) (Supplementary Figure 1: Localization of microwire bundles) - Supplemental Material
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[img] Image (JPEG) (Supplementary Figure 2: Stimuli used in the static face protocol) - Supplemental Material
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[img] Image (JPEG) (Supplementary Figure 3: Response histograms to different persons and head/gaze directions averaged across all 223 amygdala units) - Supplemental Material
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[img] Image (JPEG) (Supplementary Figure 4: Amygdala responses to gaze direction and person identity) - Supplemental Material
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[img] Image (JPEG) (Supplementary Figure 5: Stimulus preference of units showing a significant main effect of person identity in the ANOVA) - Supplemental Material
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[img] Image (JPEG) (Supplementary Figure 6: Visual response selectivity of amygdala neurons) - Supplemental Material
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[img] Image (JPEG) (Supplementary Figure 7: Setup for face-to-face (live encounter) experiment) - Supplemental Material
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The amygdala is important for face processing, and direction of eye gaze is one of the most socially salient facial signals. Recording from over 200 neurons in the amygdala of neurosurgical patients, we found robust encoding of the identity of neutral-expression faces, but not of their direction of gaze. Processing of gaze direction may rely on a predominantly cortical network rather than the amygdala.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription ReadCube access CentralArticle
Mormann, Florian0000-0003-1305-8028
Adolphs, Ralph0000-0002-8053-9692
Additional Information:© 2015 Macmillan Publishers Limited. Received 29 July 2015. Accepted 17 September 2015. Published online 19 October 2015. We thank all patients for their participation and B. Samimizad for assistance with the spike sorting. This research was supported by the Volkswagen Foundation and the German Research Council (DFG, MO 930/4-1 and SFB 1089), a Conte Center grant from NIMH (P50 MH094258), and a grant from the Simons Foundation (SFARI Director's award). Contributions: F.M. and R.A. designed the study. F.M. and O.T. implemented the experimental procedure. V.A.C. and F.M. carried out the neurosurgical procedures. F.M. and J.N. collected the electrophysiological data. F.M. analyzed the electrophysiological data. C.M.Q., J.N., C.E.E. and F.M. verified electrode locations. R.A. and F.M. wrote the paper. All of the authors discussed the results and commented on the manuscript. The authors declare no competing financial interests.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Volkswagen FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)MO 930/4-1
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)SFB 1089
NIHP50 MH094258
Simons FoundationUNSPECIFIED
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)UNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:11
PubMed Central ID:PMC4624486
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20150916-102243687
Persistent URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:60275
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:27 Oct 2015 01:25
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 08:55

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