Swiss Center for Affective science

Genève, Switzerland

Swiss Center for Affective science

Genève, Switzerland
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Malsert J.,University of Geneva | Grandjean D.,University of Geneva | Grandjean D.,Swiss Center for Affective science
Experimental Brain Research | Year: 2016

Saccadic movements are well known to involve specific top-down or bottom-up processes depending on the task and paradigm characteristics. For example, after the Gap bottom-up effect, it has been shown that an Instruction effect, i.e., asking to identify a peripheral target instead of simply look toward it, reduces latencies in prosaccade (PS) but not in antisaccade (AS) tasks. Nevertheless, in a mixed task comprising AS, PS and nosaccade trials, such differences vanished. Thus, it has been suggested that a top-down effect could be dependent on tonic or phasic neuronal activation and that only the tonic frontal activation could enable interferences with other cortical regions involved. In this study, we tested the interference of emotional information with saccadic performance depending on cognitive cost of the task. We used emotional facial expression cues in block and mixed paradigms. Using a generalized linear mixed model for the analysis, we found a main effect of the paradigm, with task and emotional effects only in mixed saccadic task that could suggest a top-down effect of emotional information processing over the regions involved in saccadic performances. Moreover, we demonstrated that prosaccades latencies are significantly reduced by emotion, while antisaccades are significantly increased, suggesting a disinhibition of reflexive saccades. © 2016, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


Peron J.,Swiss Center for Affective science | Peron J.,Geneva Lab | Fruhholz S.,Swiss Center for Affective science | Fruhholz S.,Geneva Lab | And 3 more authors.
Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews | Year: 2013

Affective neuroscience is concerned with identifying the neural bases of emotion. For historical and methodological reasons, models describing the brain architecture that supports emotional processes in humans have tended to neglect the basal ganglia, focusing instead on cortical and amygdalar mechanisms. Now, however, deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the subthalamic nucleus (STN), a neurosurgical treatment for Parkinson's disease and obsessive-compulsive disorder, is helping researchers explore the possible functional role of this particular basal ganglion in emotional processes. After reviewing studies that have used DBS in this way, we propose a model in which the STN plays a crucial role in producing temporally organized neural co-activation patterns at the cortical and subcortical levels that are essential for generating emotions and related feelings. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.


Kreibig S.D.,University of Geneva | Kreibig S.D.,Swiss Center for Affective science | Gendolla G.H.E.,University of Geneva | Gendolla G.H.E.,Swiss Center for Affective science | Scherer K.R.,Swiss Center for Affective science
Biological Psychology | Year: 2012

Using an appraisal framework, the present experiment tested the hypothesis that goal relevance and goal conduciveness have an interactive effect on emotional responding. We expected that elicitation of positive or negative emotions in response to events that are conducive or obstructive to attainment of one's goals depends on the level of goal relevance. To test this hypothesis, we presented 119 participants with positive (success) or negative (failure) performance feedback of high or low relevance in an achievement context. Feeling self-report showed effects of conduciveness, but no interaction with relevance. Physiological reactivity showed the predicted interaction effect on cardiac autonomic regulation (CAR), with higher CAR for high-relevance conducive than obstructive conditions. Moreover, mean arterial pressure (MAP) and skin conductance level (SCL) differed between conducive and obstructive conditions, and heart rate (HR) and SCL differed between relevance conditions. Implications for the plausibility and current empirical support of the interaction hypothesis are discussed. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.


Wagner U.,Charité - Medical University of Berlin | Wagner U.,University of Munster | Galli L.,Charité - Medical University of Berlin | Schott B.H.,Charité - Medical University of Berlin | And 5 more authors.
Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience | Year: 2014

Humans have a strong tendency to affiliate with other people, especially in emotional situations. Here, we suggest that a critical mechanism underlying this tendency is that socially sharing emotional experiences is in itself perceived as hedonically positive and thereby contributes to the regulation of individual emotions. We investigated the effect of social sharing of emotions on subjective feelings and neural activity by having pairs of friends view emotional (negative and positive) and neutral pictures either alone or with the friend. While the two friends remained physically separated throughout the experiment-with one undergoing functional magnetic resonance imaging and the other performing the task in an adjacent room-they were made aware on a trial-by-trial basis whether they were seeing pictures simultaneously with their friend (shared) or alone (unshared). Ratings of subjective feelings were improved significantly when participants viewed emotional pictures together than alone, an effect that was accompanied by activity increase in ventral striatum and medial orbitofrontal cortex, two important components of the reward circuitry. Because these effects occurred without any communication or interaction between the friends, they point to an important proximate explanation for the basic human motivation to affiliate with others, particularly in emotional situations. © The Author (2014).


Oud B.,University of Zürich | Coppin G.,Swiss Center for Affective science | Coppin G.,University of Geneva
Journal of Neuroscience | Year: 2012

Shall I go see a movie tonight, or rather buy some Chinese food? Obviously, such choices between different classes of goods ("reward types") are conceptually complex and methodologically challenging to investigate. Yet, they occur frequently in everyday life. How, then, does the brain solve such problems? The view that diverse behavioral acts and sensory stimuli may be compared via a value signal that is computed on a common scale, much like an internal currency (Montague and Berns, 2002), is gaining traction in decision neuroscience and neuroeconomics. According to this notion, a decision value is computed for each option. These are then compared,andthe optionwith thehighest decision value is most likely chosen. Such comparisons require that decision values areonthe same scale-which is what the notion of a common currency captures. © 2012 the authors.


Allali G.,University of Geneva | Van Der Meulen M.,University of Geneva | Van Der Meulen M.,University Hospitals Geneva Medical Center | Beauchet O.,University of Angers | And 5 more authors.
Journals of Gerontology - Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences | Year: 2014

Background. Aging is often associated with modifications of gait. Recent studies have revealed a strong relationship between gait and executive functions in healthy and pathological aging. We hypothesized that modification of gait due to aging may be related to changes in frontal lobe function. Methods. Fourteen younger (27.0±3.6 years) and 14 older healthy adults (66.0±3.5 years) performed a motor imagery task of gait as well as a matched visual imagery task. Task difficulty was modulated to investigate differential activation for precise control of gait. Task performance was assessed by recording motor imagery latencies, eye movements, and electromyography during functional magnetic resonance imaging scanning. Results. Our results showed that both healthy older and young adults recruited a network of brain regions comprising the bilateral supplementary motor cortex and primary motor cortex, right prefrontal cortex, and cerebellum, during motor imagery of gait. We observed an age-related increase in brain activity in the right supplementary motor area (BA6), the right orbitofrontal cortex (BA11), and the left dorsolateral frontal cortex (BA10). Activity in the left hippocampus was significantly modulated by task difficulty in the elderly participants. Executive functioning correlated with magnitude of increases in right primary motor cortex (BA4) during the motor imagery task. Conclusions. Besides demonstrating a general overlap in brain regions recruited in young and older participants, this study shows age-related changes in cerebral activation during mental imagery of gait. Our results underscore the importance of executive function (dorsolateral frontal cortex) and spatial navigation or memory function (hippocampus) in gait control in elderly individuals. © The Author 2013.


Korb S.,International School for Advanced Studies | Malsert J.,Swiss Center for Affective science | Malsert J.,University of Geneva | Rochas V.,University of Geneva | And 7 more authors.
Cortex | Year: 2015

Under theories of embodied emotion, exposure to a facial expression triggers facial mimicry. Facial feedback is then used to recognize and judge the perceived expression. However, the neural bases of facial mimicry and of the use of facial feedback remain poorly understood. Furthermore, gender differences in facial mimicry and emotion recognition suggest that different neural substrates might accompany the production of facial mimicry, and the processing of facial feedback, in men and women. Here, repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) was applied to the right primary motor cortex (M1), the right primary somatosensory cortex (S1), or, in a control condition, the vertex (VTX). Facial mimicry of smiles and emotion judgments were recorded in response to video clips depicting changes from neutral or angry to happy facial expressions. While in females rTMS over M1 and S1 compared to VTX led to reduced mimicry and, in the case of M1, delayed detection of smiles, there was no effect of TMS condition for males. We conclude that in female participants M1 and S1 play a role in the mimicry and in the use of facial feedback for accurate processing of smiles. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.


Gentsch K.,Swiss Center for Affective science | Gentsch K.,University of Geneva | Grandjean D.,Swiss Center for Affective science | Grandjean D.,University of Geneva | Scherer K.R.,Swiss Center for Affective science
Biological Psychology | Year: 2014

Componential theories assume that emotion episodes consist of emergent and dynamic response changes to relevant events in different components, such as appraisal, physiology, motivation, expression, and subjective feeling. In particular, Scherer's Component Process Model hypothesizes that subjective feeling emerges when the synchronization (or coherence) of appraisal-driven changes between emotion components has reached a critical threshold. We examined the prerequisite of this synchronization hypothesis for appraisal-driven response changes in facial expression. The appraisal process was manipulated by using feedback stimuli, presented in a gambling task. Participants' responses to the feedback were investigated in concurrently recorded brain activity related to appraisal (event-related potentials, ERP) and facial muscle activity (electromyography, EMG). Using principal component analysis, the prediction of appraisal-driven response changes in facial EMG was examined. Results support this prediction: early cognitive processes (related to the feedback-related negativity) seem to primarily affect the upper face, whereas processes that modulate P300 amplitudes tend to predominantly drive cheek region responses. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.


Goudbeek M.,University of Tilburg | Scherer K.,Swiss Center for Affective science
Journal of the Acoustical Society of America | Year: 2010

The important role of arousal in determining vocal parameters in the expression of emotion is well established. There is less evidence for the contribution of emotion dimensions such as valence and potency/control to vocal emotion expression. Here, an acoustic analysis of the newly developed Geneva Multimodal Emotional Portrayals corpus, is presented to examine the role of dimensions other than arousal. This corpus contains twelve emotions that systematically vary with respect to valence, arousal, and potency/control. The emotions were portrayed by professional actors coached by a stage director. The extracted acoustic parameters were first compared with those obtained from a similar corpus [Banse and Scherer (1996). J. Pers. Soc. Psychol. 70, 614-636] and shown to largely replicate the earlier findings. Based on a principal component analysis, seven composite scores were calculated and were used to determine the relative contribution of the respective vocal parameters to the emotional dimensions arousal, valence, and potency/control. The results show that although arousal dominates for many vocal parameters, it is possible to identify parameters, in particular spectral balance and spectral noise, that are specifically related to valence and potency/control. © 2010 Acoustical Society of America.


Glowinski D.,University of Genoa | Dael N.,Swiss Center for Affective science | Camurri A.,University of Genoa | Volpe G.,University of Genoa | And 2 more authors.
IEEE Transactions on Affective Computing | Year: 2011

This paper presents a framework for analysis of affective behavior starting with a reduced amount of visual information related to human upper-body movements. The main goal is to individuate a minimal representation of emotional displays based on nonverbal gesture features. The GEMEP (Geneva multimodal emotion portrayals) corpus was used to validate this framework. Twelve emotions expressed by 10 actors form the selected data set of emotion portrayals. Visual tracking of trajectories of head and hands were performed from a frontal and a lateral view. Postural/shape and dynamic expressive gesture features were identified and analyzed. A feature reduction procedure was carried out, resulting in a 4D model of emotion expression that effectively classified/grouped emotions according to their valence (positive, negative) and arousal (high, low). These results show that emotionally relevant information can be detected/measured/obtained from the dynamic qualities of gesture. The framework was implemented as software modules (plug-ins) extending the EyesWeb XMI Expressive Gesture Processing Library and is going to be used in user centric, networked media applications, including future mobiles, characterized by low computational resources, and limited sensor systems. © 2011 IEEE.

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