Emotional Face Perception in Healthy Subjects and Parkinson’s Disease: An Effective Connectivity Study
We investigated the neural connectivity induced by face presentation with different emotional valences in Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients and a control group of healthy, drug-free volunteers, using event-related fMRI in a parametric design. The focus of this work was applying Dynamic Causal Modelling (DCM), an approach that allows the assessment of effective connectivity within cortical networks , to the study of effective connectivity between maximally activated brain regions in response to passive viewing of facial stimuli. A connectivity model was built based on the literature and in our fMRI analyses, which included the fusiform gyrus (FG), the anterior cingulate cortex (ACG), the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and the dorso-medial pre-frontal cortex (DMPFC) areas. The results showed differences in connectivity between the PD group and the control group. We found that the intrinsic connectivities among DLPFC/DMPFC and FG, DLPFC/DMPFC and ACG, were higher in PD patients than in healthy subjects, while the effective connectivity among FG and ACG was lower in PD patients.
KeywordsDynamic causal modelling fMRI connectivity Parkinson’s disease Face perception
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