EEG correlates (event-related desynchronization) of emotional face elaboration: A temporal analysis

Michela Balconi, Claudio Lucchiari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


An EEG frequency band analysis was conducted, in order to explore the significance of brain oscillations (delta, theta, alpha and beta) for emotional face comprehension during different post-stimulus time intervals (50-150; 150-250; 250-350; and 350-450 ms). The study was conducted on twenty adults who looked at emotional (happy, sad, angry, fearful) or neutral faces. The results showed that motivational significance of the stimulus can modulate the power synchronization (event-related desynchronization (ERD) decrease) within the frequency band of delta and theta. We propose that delta and theta respond to variations in processing stage of emotional face: whereas, delta reflects updating of the stimulus, theta responds to the emotional significance of face. The findings revealed that emotional discrimination by theta is observable mainly within 150-250 time interval and that it is more distributed on anterior regions, whereas delta is maximally synchronized within 250-350 interval and more posteriorly distributed for all the stimulus type. Finally, a right-hemisphere dominance was found for theta during emotional face comprehension.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)118-123
Number of pages6
JournalNeuroscience Letters
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 9 2006


  • Emotional face
  • Event-related desynchronization
  • Hemispheric asymmetry
  • Temporal analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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