Social perception drives eye-movement related brain activity: evidence from pro- and anti-saccades to faces

Salvia, E., Harvey, M. , Nazarian, B. and Grosbras, M.H. (2020) Social perception drives eye-movement related brain activity: evidence from pro- and anti-saccades to faces. Neuropsychologia, 139, 107360. (doi: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2020.107360) (PMID:31982482)

209543.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.



Social stimuli such as faces attract and retain attention to a greater extent than other objects. Using fMRI, we investigated how the activity of oculomotor and visual brain regions is modulated when participants look towards or away from visual stimuli belonging to different categories (faces and cars). We identified a region within the superior frontal sulcus showing greater difference between anti- and pro-saccades to faces than to cars, and thereby supporting inhibitory control in a social context. In contrast, ventral occipito-temporal regions and the amygdala, which are associated with face perception, showed higher activity for pro-saccades than anti-saccades for faces, but the reverse for cars, suggesting that contextual, top-down mechanisms modulate the functional specialisation of areas involved in perception. In addition, during saccades in the presence of faces, we found increased functional connectivity between the frontal eye-fields and other cortical and subcortical oculomotor structures, namely the inferior frontal eye field, the posterior parietal cortex and the basal ganglia, possibly reflecting the higher demand put on the oculomotor system to inhibit responses to socially salient stimuli. For the first time, these data highlight neural bases for the different orienting responses towards or away from faces as compared to other objects.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Grosbras, Dr Marie-Helene and Harvey, Professor Monika and Salvia, Ms Emilie
Creator Roles:
Salvia, E.Formal analysis, Writing – original draft, Data curation
Harvey, M.Conceptualization, Methodology, Writing – original draft, Writing – review and editing
Grosbras, M.H.Conceptualization, Methodology, Formal analysis, Funding acquisition, Project administration, Writing – original draft, Writing – review and editing
Authors: Salvia, E., Harvey, M., Nazarian, B., and Grosbras, M.H.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Psychology & Neuroscience
College of Science and Engineering > School of Psychology
Journal Name:Neuropsychologia
ISSN (Online):1873-3514
Published Online:23 January 2020
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2020 The Authors
First Published:First published in Neuropsychologia 139:107360
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record

Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
142571Social interaction - a cognitive-neurosciences approachSimon GarrodEconomic and Social Research Council (ESRC)ES/E020933/1NP - Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging (CCNi)