Self-face activates the dopamine reward pathway without awareness
|Cereb. Cortex (2021)
|Self-face activates the dopamine reward pathway without awareness
|Dynamic Brain Network Laboratory〈Prof. KITAZAWA Shigeru〉
The self-face advantage has been demonstrated not only at the supraliminal level, but also at the subliminal level. However, it remains unclear whether subliminal self-face processing involves the same neural networks as those for supraliminal self-face processing. Here, we show that the ventral tegmental area, a center of the dopamine reward pathway, exhibited greater activation to subliminal presentations of the self-face than those of the others’ faces, whereas subliminal presentations of the others’ faces induced activation in the amygdala, which generally responds to unfamiliar information. This self-other difference in brain response was consistently observed even when the facial configuration was modified without changing the shape of the facial parts. The present findings suggest that the dopamine reward pathway is involved in automatic self-advantage in face processing, and the subliminal self-other facial discrimination does not depend on information of the precise facial configuration.