On the connection between level of education and the neural circuitry of emotion perception

Liliana R. Demenescu*, Adrian Stan, Rudie Kortekaas, Nic J. A. van der Wee, Dick J. Veltman, Andre Aleman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Abstract

Through education, a social group transmits accumulated knowledge, skills, customs, and values to its members. So far, to the best of our knowledge, the association between educational attainment and neural correlates of emotion processing has been left unexplored. In a retrospective analysis of The Netherlands Study of Depression and Anxiety (NESDA) functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study, we compared two groups of fourteen healthy volunteers with intermediate and high educational attainment, matched for age and gender. The data concerned event-related fMRI of brain activation during perception of facial emotional expressions. The region of interest (ROI) analysis showed stronger right amygdala activation to facial expressions in participants with lower relative to higher educational attainment (HE). The psychophysiological interaction analysis revealed that participants with HE exhibited stronger right amygdala-right insula connectivity during perception of emotional and neutral facial expressions. This exploratory study suggests the relevance of educational attainment on the neural mechanism of facial expressions processing.

Original languageEnglish
Article number866
Number of pages7
JournalFrontiers in Human Neuroscience
Volume8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 27-Oct-2014

Keywords

  • emotion
  • facial expressions
  • educational attainment
  • neural response
  • psychophysiological interaction
  • NEUTRAL FACIAL EXPRESSIONS
  • AMYGDALA ACTIVATION
  • OLDER-ADULTS
  • COGNITIVE FUNCTION
  • DEPRESSION
  • ANXIETY
  • BRAIN
  • METAANALYSIS
  • ATTAINMENT
  • FACES

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