SATO Wataru Laboratory

Gamma oscillations in the temporal pole in response to eyes

(Sato*, Kochiyama*, Uono, Matsuda, Usui, Usui, Inoue, & Toichi (* equal contributors): PLoS One)

The eyes of an individual act as an indispensable communication medium during human social interactions.
Functional neuroimaging studies have revealed that several brain regions are activated in response to eyes and eye gaze direction changes.
However, it remains unclear whether the temporal pole is one of these regions.
Furthermore, if the temporal pole is activated by these stimuli, the timing and manner in which it is activated also remain unclear.

To investigate these issues, we analyzed intracranial electroencephalographic data from the temporal pole that were obtained during the presentation of eyes and mosaics in averted or straight directions and their directional changes.

Time-frequency statistical parametric mapping analyses revealed that the bilateral temporal poles exhibited greater gamma-band activation beginning at 215 ms in response to eyes compared with mosaics, irrespective of the direction.
Additionally, the right temporal pole showed greater gamma-band activation beginning at 197 ms in response to directional changes of the eyes compared with mosaics.

These results suggest that gamma-band oscillations in the temporal pole were involved in the processing of the presence of eyes and changes in eye gaze direction at a relatively late temporal stage compared with the posterior cortices.

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