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Emotional learning promotes perceptual predictions by remodeling stimulus representation in visual cortex

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Published in Scientific Reports. 2019, vol. 9, no. 1, p. 16867
Abstract Emotions exert powerful effects on perception and memory, notably by modulating activity in sensory cortices so as to capture attention. Here, we examine whether emotional significance acquired by a visual stimulus can also change its cortical representation by linking neuronal populations coding for different memorized versions of the same stimulus, a mechanism that would facilitate recognition across different appearances. Using fMRI, we show that after pairing a given face with threat through conditioning, viewing this face activates the representation of another viewpoint of the same person, which itself was never conditioned, leading to robust repetition-priming across viewpoints in the ventral visual stream (including medial fusiform, lateral occipital, and anterior temporal cortex). We also observed a functional-anatomical segregation for coding view-invariant and view-specific identity information. These results indicate emotional signals may induce plasticity of stimulus representations in visual cortex, serving to generate new sensory predictions about different appearances of threat-associated stimuli.
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PMID: 31727912
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Research groups Mécanismes cérébraux du comportement et des fonctions cognitives (701)
Affective sciences
Projects FNS: 51NF40-104897
FP7: BRIDGE
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MEAUX, Emilie, STERPENICH, Virginie, VUILLEUMIER, Patrik. Emotional learning promotes perceptual predictions by remodeling stimulus representation in visual cortex. In: Scientific Reports, 2019, vol. 9, n° 1, p. 16867. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-52615-6 https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:127443

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Deposited on : 2019-12-04

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