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A Causal Role of the Right Superior Temporal Sulcus in Emotion Recognition From Biological Motion

A Causal Role of the Right Superior Temporal Sulcus in Emotion Recognition From Biological Motion Understanding the emotions of others through nonverbal cues is critical for successful social interactions. The right posterior superior temporal sulcus (pSTS) is one brain region thought to be key in the recognition of the mental states of others based on body language and facial expression. In the present study, we temporarily disrupted functional activity of the right pSTS by using continuous, theta-burst transcranial magnetic stimulation (cTBS) to test the hypothesis that the right pSTS plays a causal role in emotion recognition from body movements. Participants (N = 23) received cTBS to the right pSTS, which was individually localized using fMRI, and a vertex control site. Before and after cTBS, we tested participants’ ability to identify emotions from point-light displays (PLDs) of biological motion stimuli and a nonbiological global motion identification task. Results revealed that accurate identification of emotional states from biological motion was reduced following cTBS to the right pSTS, but accuracy was not impaired following vertex stimulation. Accuracy on the global motion task was unaffected by cTBS to either site. These results support the causal role of the right pSTS in decoding information about others’ emotional state from their body movements and gestures. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Open Mind MIT Press

A Causal Role of the Right Superior Temporal Sulcus in Emotion Recognition From Biological Motion

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Publisher
MIT Press
Copyright
Copyright © MIT Press
eISSN
2470-2986
DOI
10.1162/opmi_a_00015
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Understanding the emotions of others through nonverbal cues is critical for successful social interactions. The right posterior superior temporal sulcus (pSTS) is one brain region thought to be key in the recognition of the mental states of others based on body language and facial expression. In the present study, we temporarily disrupted functional activity of the right pSTS by using continuous, theta-burst transcranial magnetic stimulation (cTBS) to test the hypothesis that the right pSTS plays a causal role in emotion recognition from body movements. Participants (N = 23) received cTBS to the right pSTS, which was individually localized using fMRI, and a vertex control site. Before and after cTBS, we tested participants’ ability to identify emotions from point-light displays (PLDs) of biological motion stimuli and a nonbiological global motion identification task. Results revealed that accurate identification of emotional states from biological motion was reduced following cTBS to the right pSTS, but accuracy was not impaired following vertex stimulation. Accuracy on the global motion task was unaffected by cTBS to either site. These results support the causal role of the right pSTS in decoding information about others’ emotional state from their body movements and gestures.

Journal

Open MindMIT Press

Published: Dec 11, 2017

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