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Low spatial frequency filtering modulates early brain processing of affective complex pictures

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Ignacio Serrano-PedrazaORCiD


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Recent research on affective processing has suggested that low spatial frequency information of fearful faces provide rapid emotional cues to the amygdala, whereas high spatial frequencies convey fine-grained information to the fusiform gyrus, regardless of emotional expression. In the present experiment, we examined the effects of low (LSF, <15 cycles/image width) and high spatial frequency filtering (HSF, >25 cycles/image width) on brain processing of complex pictures depicting pleasant, unpleasant, and neutral scenes. Event-related potentials (ERP), percentage of recognized stimuli and response times were recorded in 19 healthy volunteers. Behavioral results indicated faster reaction times in response to unpleasant LSF than to unpleasant HSF pictures. Unpleasant LSF pictures and pleasant unfiltered pictures also elicited significant enhancements of P1 amplitudes at occipital electrodes as compared to neutral LSF and unfiltered pictures, respectively; whereas no significant effects of affective modulation were found for HSF pictures. Moreover, mean ERP amplitudes in the time between 200 and 500 ms post-stimulus were significantly greater for affective (pleasant and unpleasant) than for neutral unfiltered pictures; whereas no significant affective modulation was found for HSF or LSF pictures at those latencies. The fact that affective LSF pictures elicited an enhancement of brain responses at early, but not at later latencies, suggests the existence of a rapid and preattentive neural mechanism for the processing of motivationally relevant stimuli, which could be driven by LSF cues. Our findings confirm thus previous results showing differences on brain processing of affective LSF and HSF faces, and extend these results to more complex and social affective pictures. © 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Alorda C, Serrano-Pedraza I, Campos-Bueno JJ, Sierra-Vazquez V, Montoya P

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Neuropsychologia

Year: 2007

Volume: 45

Issue: 14

Pages: 3223-3233

ISSN (print): 0028-3932

ISSN (electronic): 1873-3514

Publisher: Pergamon


DOI: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2007.06.017

PubMed id: 17681356


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