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Human Chemosignals Modulate Interactions Between Social and Emotional Brain Areas

Ferdowsi, Saideh and Ognibene, Dimitri and Foulsham, Tom and Abolghasemi, Vahid and Li, Wen and Citi, Luca (2020) Human Chemosignals Modulate Interactions Between Social and Emotional Brain Areas. In: 2020 IEEE 20th International Conference on Bioinformatics and Bioengineering (BIBE), 2020-10-26 - 2020-10-28, Cincinnati, OH, USA.

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Abstract

Chemosensory communication is known as an effective way to influence the human emotion system. Phenomena like food selection or motivation, based on chemical signals, present a unique pathway between chemosensory and emotion systems. Human chemosignals (i.e. sweat) which are produced during different emotional states contain associated distinctive odors and are able to induce same emotions in other people. For instance, sweat is known as a social chemosignal participating in social interaction. Chemosignal perception engages a distributed neural network which has not been well characterized yet. In this paper, we use functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate the neural circuits underlying social emotional chemosignal processing. Chemosignals associated with disgust and neutral conditions were used to induce specific emotional states in fMRI participants during a healthy food judgement. We performed fMRI analysis with the aim of detecting active areas in the brain, followed by a dynamic causal modeling (DCM) analysis. fMRI analysis revealed functional activity in the fusiform face area (FFA), amygdala (AMG) and orbitofrontal cortex (OFC). In order to determine the effective connectivity among these regions as a result of emotional chemosignal processing, a set of dynamic causal models is proposed. Estimating parameters of the proposed models shows that social chemosignals modulate the connections between FFA, AMG and OFC. The results indicate that social chemosignals of disgust converge on orbitofrontal cortex - an area which is a critical region for object appraisal and valuation - after first influencing fusiform face area and amygdala.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Additional Information: Published proceedings: Proceedings - IEEE 20th International Conference on Bioinformatics and Bioengineering, BIBE 2020
Uncontrolled Keywords: Human Chemosignal; Dynamic Causal Modeling (DCM); Effective Connectivity; fMRI
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Computer Science and Electronic Engineering, School of
Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 14 Jan 2022 09:51
Last Modified: 14 Jan 2022 09:54
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/31785

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