Differential extrageniculostriate and amygdala responses to presentation of emotional faces in a cortically blind field.
Morris JS., DeGelder B., Weiskrantz L., Dolan RJ.
Patient G.Y. is able to discriminate emotional facial expressions presented in his blind (right) hemifield despite an extensive lesion of the corresponding (left) striate cortex. One proposal is that this residual ability (affective "blindsight") depends on a subcortical visual pathway comprising the superior colliculus, posterior (extrageniculate) thalamus and amygdala. Here we report differential amygdala responses in G.Y. to presentation of fearful and fear-conditioned faces in his blind (right) hemifield. These amygdala responses exhibited condition-dependent covariation with neural activity in the posterior thalamus and superior colliculus. Our results provide further evidence that an extrageniculostriate (colliculo-thalamo-amygdala) neural pathway can process fear-related stimuli independently of both the striate cortex and normal phenomenal visual awareness.