Correlatos neuronales de la expresión facial durante la interacción social. Una sonrisa puede formar parte de la expresión facial de una emoción como la alegría, pero también puede expresar metas e intenciones más profundas. Si quieres conocer lo último en este tema puedes leer este interesante artículo en la nueva revista Social Neuroscience o acceder a la página web del primer autor. Elena Gámez.



What’s in a smile? Neural correlates of facial embodiment during social interaction

Leonhard Schilbach (a,b); Simon B. Eickhoff (b); Andreas Mojzisch (c); Kai Vogeley (a,b)

(a) University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany

(b) ResearchCenter Juelich, Juelich, Germany

(c)  Georg-August-University of Goettingen, Goettingen, Germany


Publicado en: Social Neuroscience, Volumen 3, nº1, Marzo 2008, páginas 37-50



Previous investigations have shown that the perception of socially relevant facial expressions, indicating someone else’s intention to communicate (e.g., smiling), correlate with increased activity in zygomaticus major muscle regardless of whether the facial expressions seen are directed towards the human observer or toward someone else (Mojzisch et al., 2006). These spontaneous, involuntary reactions have been described as facial mimicry and seem to be of considerable importance for successful interpersonal communication. We investigated whether specific neural substrates underlie these responses by performing a finite impulse response (FIR) analysis of an experiment using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate the perception of socially relevant facial expressions (Schilbach et al., 2006). This analysis demonstrates that differential neural activity can be detected relative to the FIR time window in which facial mimicry occurs. The neural network found includes but extends beyond classical motor regions (face motor area) recruiting brain regions known to be involved in social cognition. This network is proposed to subserve the integration of emotional and action-related processes as part of a pre-reflective, embodied reaction to the perception of socially relevant facial expressions as well as a reflective representation of self and other.


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