Document Detail

Species-specific response to human infant faces in the premotor cortex.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22230948     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The human infant face represents an essential source of communicative signals on the basis of which adults modulate their interactions with infants. Behavioral studies demonstrate that infants' faces activate sensitive and attuned responses in adults through their gaze, face expression, voice, and gesture. In this study we aimed to identify brain responses that underlie adults' general propensity to respond to infant faces. We recorded fMRI during adults' (non-parents) processing of unfamiliar infant faces compared to carefully matched adult faces and infrahuman mammal infant and adult faces. Human infant faces activated several brain systems including the lateral premotor cortex, supplementary motor area, cingulate cortex, anterior insula and the thalamus. Activation of these brain circuits suggests adults' preparation for communicative behavior with infants as well as attachment and caregiving. The same brain regions preferentially responded to human infant faces when compared to animal infant faces, indicating species-specific adult brain responses. Moreover, results of support vector machine based classification analysis indicated that these regions allowed above chance-level prediction of brain state during perception of human infant faces. The complex of brain responses to human infant faces appears to include biological mechanisms that underlie responsiveness and a caring inclination toward young children which appear to transcend adult's biological relationship to the baby.
Andrea Caria; Simona de Falco; Paola Venuti; Sangkyun Lee; Gianluca Esposito; Paola Rigo; Niels Birbaumer; Marc H Bornstein
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article     Date:  2012-01-02
Journal Detail:
Title:  NeuroImage     Volume:  60     ISSN:  1095-9572     ISO Abbreviation:  Neuroimage     Publication Date:  2012 Apr 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-03-14     Completed Date:  2012-06-29     Revised Date:  2013-06-26    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9215515     Medline TA:  Neuroimage     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  884-93     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Institute of Medical Psychology and Behavioral Neurobiology Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany.
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MeSH Terms
Cerebral Cortex / physiology*
Facial Expression*
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Species Specificity
Grant Support

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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