Studying the Functional Equivalence of Mechanisms for Emotion Perception and Emotion Generation by Means of Evoked Potentials

  • Dar'ya S. Alekseeva Southern Federal University
  • Pavel N. Ermakov Southern Federal University
  • Vitalii V. Babenko Southern Federal University
  • Denis V. Yavna Southern Federal University
Keywords: Faces, emotion perception, mirroring, objects, emotional reaction, emotion generation, emotional expression, emotional valence, evoked potentials, foci of maximal activity

Abstract

Introduction. Many functional systems of the brain confirm the hypothesis of functional equivalence. However, the mechanisms involved in emotion perception and reproduction still remain an open question. This study attempts to define and compare the dynamics of the activity of brain structures when perceiving and generating emotions. The novelty of the research lies in comparing the dynamics of evoked activity when the same respondents perceive and generate emotions within a single experiment.

Methods. The respondents were shown photographs of various facial expressions and also objects generating various emotions. The respondents had to detect emotions from photographs of facial expressions, and also recognize emotions which the objects generated. The answers made it possible to group and average EEG fragments to distinguish evoked potentials (neutral, positive, and negative faces and objects). EEG was recorded from 128 derivations, which allowed determining the trajectories of the foci of maximal activity using sLORETA. The responses to faces and objects of the same emotional valence were compared.

Results. For the first time the responses to the visual stimuli expressing and generating emotion were recorded and compared within a single experiment. The N170 wave activity displayed the differences between evoked responses to different facial expressions and objects with different emotional valence. The analysis of the trajectories of the foci of maximal activity when developing reactions to faces and objects showed no crossing.

Discussion. The experiment should have parted the dynamics of the compared responses. Assuming the existence of a mirror mechanism, the coincidence of the processes is possible only at a certain stage in this case. The analysis of the results demonstrated no crossing for the compared processes.

Conclusion. The findings showed no signs of the functional equivalence of the mechanisms for emotion recognition and emotion generation.

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Published
2017-12-28
How to Cite
Alekseeva, D. S., Ermakov, P. N., Babenko, V. V., & Yavna, D. V. (2017). Studying the Functional Equivalence of Mechanisms for Emotion Perception and Emotion Generation by Means of Evoked Potentials. Russian Psychological Journal, 14(4), 97-120. https://doi.org/10.21702/rpj.2017.4.5
Section
Psychophysiology, medical psychology