Visual processing of facial affect

Stephen Lewis, Robert J. Thoma, Marianna D. Lanoue, Gregory A. Miller, Wendy Heller, Christopher Edgar, Minxiong Huang, Michael P. Weisend, Jessica Irwin, Kim Paulson, José M. Cañive

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


To evaluate the role of the fusiform gyrus in identifying and processing facial emotional expression in humans, MEG data were collected while six healthy subjects judged whether photographs of faces displayed emotion (happiness or disgust) compared to neutral faces and equiluminant scrambled faces. For all six subjects, a magnetic source localizing to right fusiform gyrus was evident ∼150 ms following presentation of face stimuli, but not following non-face stimuli. MEG source strength for this component was greatest for happy, intermediate for disgust, and lowest for neutral facial expressions, suggesting that activity in fusiform gyrus is sensitive to both face-specific stimuli and to the affective content of the face. These findings are considered in the context of a specialized neural face-dependent information system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1841-1845
Number of pages5
Issue number14
StatePublished - Oct 6 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Facial expression
  • Magnetoencephalography
  • Non-verbal communication
  • Visual perception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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