Empathy in facial mimicry of fear and disgust: simultaneous EMG-fMRI recordings during observation of static and dynamic facial expressions
Krystyna Rymarczyk , Łukasz Żurawski , Kamila Jankowiak-Siuda , Iwona Szatkowska
AbstractReal-life faces are dynamic by nature, particularly when expressing emotion. Increasing evidence suggests that the perception of dynamic displays enhances facial mimicry and induces activation in widespread brain structures considered to be part of the mirror neuron system, a neuronal network linked to empathy. The present study is the first to investigate the relations among facial muscle responses, brain activity, and empathy traits while participants observed static and dynamic (videos) facial expressions of fear and disgust. During display presentation, blood-oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) signal as well as muscle reactions of the corrugator supercilii and levator labii were recorded simultaneously from 46 healthy individuals (21 females). It was shown that both fear and disgust faces caused activity in the corrugator supercilii muscle, while perception of disgust produced facial activity additionally in the levator labii muscle, supporting a specific pattern of facial mimicry for these emotions. Moreover, individuals with higher, compared to individuals with lower, empathy traits showed greater activity in the corrugator supercilii and levator labii muscles; however, these responses were not differentiable between static and dynamic mode. Conversely, neuroimaging data revealed motion and emotional-related brain structures in response to dynamic rather than static stimuli among high empathy individuals. In line with this, there was a correlation between electromyography (EMG) responses and brain activity suggesting that the Mirror Neuron System, the anterior insula and the amygdala might constitute the neural correlates of automatic facial mimicry for fear and disgust. These results revealed that the dynamic property of (emotional) stimuli facilitates the emotional-related processing of facial expressions, especially among whose with high trait empathy
|Journal series||Frontiers in Psychology, ISSN 1664-1078, (N/A 70 pkt)|
|Publication size in sheets||0.95|
|Keywords in English||facial mimicry, EMG, fMRI, mirror neuron system, emotional expressions, dynamic, disgust, fear|
|Publication indicators||: 2016 = 1.006; : 2017 = 2.089 (2) - 2017=2.749 (5)|
* presented citation count is obtained through Internet information analysis and it is close to the number calculated by the Publish or Perish system.