Modulation of Neural Oscillatory Activity during Dynamic Face Processing

Elaine Foley, Gina Rippon, Carl Senior

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Various neuroimaging and neurophysiological methods have been used to examine neural activation patterns in response to faces. However, much of previous research has relied on static images of faces, which do not allow a complete description of the temporal structure of face-specific neural activities to be made. More recently, insights are emerging from fMRI studies about the neural substrates that underpin our perception of naturalistic dynamic face stimuli, but the temporal and spectral oscillatory activity associated with processing dynamic faces has yet to be fully characterized. Here, we used MEG and beamformer source localization to examine the spatiotemporal profile of neurophysiological oscillatory activity in response to dynamic faces. Source analysis revealed a number of regions showing enhanced activation in response to dynamic relative to static faces in the distributed face network, which were spatially coincident with regions that were previously identified with fMRI. Furthermore, our results demonstrate that perception of realistic dynamic facial stimuli activates a distributed neural network at varying time points facilitated by modulations in low-frequency power within alpha and beta frequency ranges (8-30 Hz). Naturalistic dynamic face stimuli may provide a better means of representing the complex nature of perceiving facial expressions in the real world, and neural oscillatory activity can provide additional insights into the associated neural processes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)338-352
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Cognitive Neuroscience
Issue number3
Early online date31 Jan 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2018

Bibliographical note

© 2018 Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


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