Amygdala activation for eye contact despite complete cortical blindness

Burra, Nicolas, Hervais-Adelman, Alexis, Kerzel, Dirk, Tamietto, Marco, de Gelder, Beatrice and Pegna, Alan J. (2013) Amygdala activation for eye contact despite complete cortical blindness. Journal of Neuroscience, 33 25: 10483-10489. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3994-12.2013

Author Burra, Nicolas
Hervais-Adelman, Alexis
Kerzel, Dirk
Tamietto, Marco
de Gelder, Beatrice
Pegna, Alan J.
Title Amygdala activation for eye contact despite complete cortical blindness
Journal name Journal of Neuroscience   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0270-6474
Publication date 2013-06-19
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3994-12.2013
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 33
Issue 25
Start page 10483
End page 10489
Total pages 7
Place of publication Washington, DC, United States
Publisher Society for Neuroscience
Language eng
Abstract Cortical blindness refers to the loss of vision that occurs after destruction of the primary visual cortex. Although there is no sensory cortex and hence no conscious vision, some cortically blind patients show amygdala activation in response to facial or bodily expressions of emotion. Here we investigated whether direction of gaze could also be processed in the absence of any functional visual cortex. A well-known patient with bilateral destruction of his visual cortex and subsequent cortical blindness was investigated in an fMRI paradigm during which blocks of faces were presented either with their gaze directed toward or away from the viewer. Increased right amygdala activation was found in response to directed compared with averted gaze. Activity in this region was further found to be functionally connected to a larger network associated with face and gaze processing. The present study demonstrates that, in human subjects, the amygdala response to eye contact does not require an intact primary visual cortex.
Keyword Neurosciences
Neurosciences & Neurology
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Grant ID 320030144187
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Psychology Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 42 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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