Hippocampal brain volume is associated with faster facial emotion identification in older adults: preliminary results
2016 (English)In: Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, ISSN 1663-4365, E-ISSN 1663-4365, Vol. 8, 203Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Fast correct identification of facial emotions is highly relevant for successful social interactions. Research suggests that older, compared to young, adults experience increased difficulty with face and emotion processing skills. While functional neuroimaging studies suggest age differences in neural processing of faces and emotions, evidence about age-associated structural brain changes and their involvement in face and emotion processing is scarce. Using structural magnetic resonance imaging, this study investigated the extent to which volumes of frontal and temporal brain structures were related to reaction time in accurate identification of facial emotions in 30 young and 30 older adults. Volumetric segmentation was performed using FreeSurfer and gray matter volumes from frontal and temporal regions were extracted. Analyses of covariance models with response time as the dependent variable and age group and regional volume, and their interaction, as independent variables were conducted, controlling for total intracranial volume. Results indicated that, in older adults, larger hippocampal volumes were associated with faster correct facial emotion identification. These preliminary observations suggest that greater volume in brain regions associated with face and emotion processing contributes to improved facial emotion identification performance in aging.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 8, 203
Hippocampus, brain volume, faces, emotion identification, structural MRI
Research subject Psychology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-132320DOI: 10.3389/fnagi.2016.00203OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-132320DiVA: diva2:951249