In the face of fear: neuropsychological contributions and empirical evidences

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Facial expressions are considered as communicative signals: they are central features of social behavior of most nonhuman primate and they are powerful stimuli in human communication. Fear was a primary emotion finalyzed to guarantee the subjective safeguard and to prevent the subject to be impaired by threatening external cues. Specifically, a central question in the field of emotional face comprehension and explored in the present chapter is whether distinct brain correlates deputed to analyze facial expression of emotion do exist. Some cerebral circuits were considered, such as the frontal and the temporal lobes, and the limbic circuit. Moreover, the dynamic vs static patterns of faces may have an effect in activating specific cortical networks and their different impact is explored. In addition, recent studies explained the contribution of hemispheres in comprehending fear facial expression, elucidating the effect frontal left vs. right area in the face comprehension. Specifically, an overview on neuropsychological research approach (TMS, EEG and fMRI) is proposed in order to explain how face may be processed by an observer and how he can make face a meaningful construct.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPsychology of Fear: New Research
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • fear


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