21 March 2016 Single trial classification for the categories of perceived emotional facial expressions: an event-related fMRI study
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Abstract
Recently, several studies have successfully applied multivariate pattern analysis methods to predict the categories of emotions. These studies are mainly focused on self-experienced emotions, such as the emotional states elicited by music or movie. In fact, most of our social interactions involve perception of emotional information from the expressions of other people, and it is an important basic skill for humans to recognize the emotional facial expressions of other people in a short time. In this study, we aimed to determine the discriminability of perceived emotional facial expressions. In a rapid event-related fMRI design, subjects were instructed to classify four categories of facial expressions (happy, disgust, angry and neutral) by pressing different buttons, and each facial expression stimulus lasted for 2s. All participants performed 5 fMRI runs. One multivariate pattern analysis method, support vector machine was trained to predict the categories of facial expressions. For feature selection, ninety masks defined from anatomical automatic labeling (AAL) atlas were firstly generated and each were treated as the input of the classifier; then, the most stable AAL areas were selected according to prediction accuracies, and comprised the final feature sets. Results showed that: for the 6 pair-wise classification conditions, the accuracy, sensitivity and specificity were all above chance prediction, among which, happy vs. neutral , angry vs. disgust achieved the lowest results. These results suggested that specific neural signatures of perceived emotional facial expressions may exist, and happy vs. neutral, angry vs. disgust might be more similar in information representation in the brain.
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Sutao Song, Yuxia Huang, Zhiying Long, Jiacai Zhang, Gongxiang Chen, Shuqing Wang, "Single trial classification for the categories of perceived emotional facial expressions: an event-related fMRI study", Proc. SPIE 9784, Medical Imaging 2016: Image Processing, 97841T (21 March 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2216342; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2216342
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