Friday, March 02, 2007
Attentional deficit overcome by fearful body language stimulus
Tamietto et al report in J. Cog. Neurosci. the interesting observation that patients having right parietal lobe damage which makes them inattentive to their left visual field notice fearful body language stimuli in that left visual field much more readily than neutral or happy body language. This demonstrates that despite pathological inattention and parietal damage, emotion and action-related information in fearful body language may be extracted automatically, biasing attentional selection and visual awareness. Apparently a neural network in intact fronto-limbic and visual areas still mediates reorienting of attention and preparation for action upon perceiving fear in others.