Neural correlates of the projection of mental states on the not-structured visual stimuli

Luciano, Massimiliano and Cecchini, Marco and Altavilla, Daniela and Palumbo, Letizia and Aceto, Paola and Ruggeri, Giuseppe and Vecchio, Fabrizio and Lai, Carlo (2014) Neural correlates of the projection of mental states on the not-structured visual stimuli. Neuroscience Letters, 573. pp. 24-29. ISSN 0304-3940

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Projection is a spontaneous and complex mental activity responsible for the subjective meaning attribution. The hypotheses of this study were that the neural correlate of projection may involve frontal, parietal, and temporal brain areas, and that alexithymia may be negatively associated with intensities in limbic and paralimbic areas during projection. EEG data were recorded continuously at 250 Hz using NetStation 4.5.1 with 256-channels HydroCel Geodesic Sensor Net in 20 healthy subjects during the presentation of structured and not-structured visual stimuli. The tasks were paying attention to the stimuli and thinking about the possible meaning of each image. Event related potential (ERP) components and low-resolution electromagnetic tomography (sLoreta) were analyzed. Participants were administered the 20-Item Toronto Alexithymia Scale before stimulus presentation. Source analyses (sLORETA) showed a greater activated source in the left primary somatosensory cortex (BA1) compared to all the others BA in both conditions through all the ERP components. An involvement of the frontal (right-BA4, left- and right-BA9, left-BA11) and parietal (left and right-BA2 and left-BA7) areas was found in projective response to not-structured visual stimuli. Alexithymia levels were negatively correlated with the anterior (right-BA32) and posterior (left-BA29) cingulate cortex. Findings show the relevance of fronto-parieto circuits during projection, where the internally generating somatosensory representations could drive an intermodal meaning attribution during the task. Moreover, high alexithymia levels were associated with a reduced activation of the cingulated cortex.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information and Comments: “NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Neuroscience Letters. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Neuroscience Letters, [VOL 573, (June 2014)] DOI# 10.1016/j.neulet.2014.05.008 ¨
Keywords: Alexithymia, Projection, Rorschach test
Faculty / Department: Faculty of Science > Psychology
Depositing User: Pauline Bray
Date Deposited: 25 Feb 2016 12:27
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2016 14:46

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