LIBC Sylvius Lectures

Beatrice de Gelder (Brain and Emotion Laboratory at Maastricht University) - Affective perception and the body

Date & Time: 29 september 2016, 4.30 pm
Location: Faculteit Sociale Wetenschappen, Pieter de la Court gebouw, Wassenaarseweg 52, room SA41


Communication with conspecifics is a central requirement in complex environments. Faces and whole bodies are the most frequently encountered and most salient information signals.  While research on facial communication has a long history investigations of whole body signaling have only just started. In this talk we review this   field and focus on some main issues. First,  to what extend does signaling of fear and anger with the face and the whole body rely on similar affective structures or category specific resources and what are the distinctive functions of each. Second, what is the relative temporal dynamics of affective and category specific information, do we first process the expression and then the category and exemplar identity or, the other way round as is the standard assumption? Next, is there parallel processing for conscious and non consciously perceived face and body signals and what can we learn from patients with focal brain damage.  Finally,  we review new findings showing what  a detailed analysis of human amygdala subnuclei contribute to our understanding of fear expression processing. 

Professor Beatrice M. L. de Gelder is a cognitive neuroscientist and neuropsychologist. She investigates emotion and cognition in humans. Her projects include investigations of emotion and cognition in neurologically intact participants, but also in patients with focal brain lesions, and prosopagnosia, neuropsychiatric populations such as people with schizophrenia, autism and Williams syndrome. She uses behavioral methods, electrophysiology, EMG, as well as functional imaging. She is author of numerous books and publications. She was a Fellow of the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study, and an elected member of the International Neuropsychological Symposia since 1999. She is currently the Editor-in-Chief of the journal Frontiers in Emotion Science and associate editor for Frontiers in Perception Science.

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