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    Individual differences in laughter perception reveal roles for mentalizing and sensorimotor systems in the evaluation of emotional authenticity

    McGettigan, C. and Walsh, Eamonn and Jessop, R. and Agnew, Z. and Sauter, D. and Warren, J. and Scott, S. (2013) Individual differences in laughter perception reveal roles for mentalizing and sensorimotor systems in the evaluation of emotional authenticity. Cerebral Cortex 25 (1), pp. 246-257. ISSN 1047-3211.

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    Abstract

    Humans express laughter differently depending on the context: polite titters of agreement are very different from explosions of mirth. Using functional MRI, we explored the neural responses during passive listening to authentic amusement laughter and controlled, voluntary laughter. We found greater activity in anterior medial prefrontal cortex (amPFC) to the deliberate, Emitted Laughs, suggesting an obligatory attempt to determine others' mental states when laughter is perceived as less genuine. In contrast, passive perception of authentic Evoked Laughs was associated with greater activity in bilateral superior temporal gyri. An individual differences analysis found that greater accuracy on a post hoc test of authenticity judgments of laughter predicted the magnitude of passive listening responses to laughter in amPFC, as well as several regions in sensorimotor cortex (in line with simulation accounts of emotion perception). These medial prefrontal and sensorimotor sites showed enhanced positive connectivity with cortical and subcortical regions during listening to involuntary laughter, indicating a complex set of interacting systems supporting the automatic emotional evaluation of heard vocalizations.

    Metadata

    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): emotion functional, MRI, laughter, medial, prefrontal cortex, sensorimotor cortex
    School: Birkbeck Schools and Departments > School of Science > Psychological Sciences
    Depositing User: Sarah Hall
    Date Deposited: 07 Jan 2016 12:45
    Last Modified: 07 Jan 2016 12:45
    URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/13916

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