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Walker M.P.,University of California at Berkeley | Robertson E.M.,Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology
Current Biology | Year: 2016

Recent work has shown that, during sleep, a functional circuit is created amidst a general breakdown in connectivity following fast-frequency bursts of brain activity. The findings question the unconscious nature of deep sleep, and provide an explanation for its contribution to memory processing. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd All rights reserved. Source

Cecere R.,University of Bologna | Cecere R.,Centro Studi e Ricerche in Neuroscienze Cognitive | Cecere R.,Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology | Bertini C.,University of Bologna | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience | Year: 2014

Visual threat-related signals are not only processed via a cortical geniculo-striatal pathway to the amygdala but also via a subcortical colliculo-pulvinar-amygdala pathway, which presumably mediates implicit processing of fearful stimuli. Indeed, hemianopic patients with unilateral damage to the geniculo-striatal pathway have been shown to respond faster to seen happy faces in their intact visual field when unseen fearful faces were concurrently presented in their blind field [Bertini, C., Cecere, R., & Làdavas, E. I amblind, but I “see” fear. Cortex, 49, 985–993, 2013]. This behavioral facilitation in the presence of unseen fear might reflect enhanced processing of consciously perceived faces because of early activation of the subcortical pathway for implicit fear perception, which possibly leads to a modulation of cortical activity. To test this hypothesis, we examined ERPs elicited by fearful and happy faces presented to the intact visual field of right and left hemianopic patients, whereas fearful, happy, or neutral faces were concurrently presented in their blind field. Results showed that the amplitude of the N170 elicited by seen happy faces was selectively increased when an unseen fearful face was concurrently presented in the blind field of right hemianopic patients. These results suggest that when the geniculo-striate visual pathway is lesioned, the rapid and implicit processing of threat signals can enhance facial encoding. Notably, the N170 modulation was only observed in left-lesioned patients, favoring the hypothesis that implicit subcortical processing of fearful signals can influence face encoding only when the right hemisphere is intact. © 2014 Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Source

Han C.,Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology | Hahn A.C.,Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology | Fisher C.I.,Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology | Debruine L.M.,Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology | Jones B.C.,Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology
American Journal of Human Biology | Year: 2015

Objectives: Although many theories of human facial attractiveness propose positive correlations between facial attractiveness and measures of actual health, evidence for such correlations is somewhat mixed. Here we sought to replicate a recent study reporting that women's facial attractiveness is independently related to both their adiposity and cortisol. Methods: Ninety-six women provided saliva samples, which were analyzed for cortisol level, and their height and weight, which were used to calculate their body mass index (BMI). A digital face image of each woman was also taken under standardized photographic conditions and rated for attractiveness. Results: There was a significant negative correlation between women's facial attractiveness and BMI. By contrast, salivary cortisol and facial attractiveness were not significantly correlated. Conclusions: Our results suggest that the types of health information reflected in women's faces include qualities that are indexed by BMI but do not necessarily include qualities that are indexed by cortisol. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Source

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