Emotional expressions modulate low α and β oscillations in a cortically blind patient

M. Del Zotto, M.P. Deiber, L.B. Legrand, B. de Gelder, A.J. Pegna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Studies of cortical blindness have suggested that some residual visual function may persist without perceptual awareness, a condition known as blindsight. To investigate electrophysiological evidence of unconscious processing of emotional stimuli, we examined the event-related oscillations (EROs) in a 62 year-old male patient (TN) with affective blindsight during random stimulation of three facial expressions (fearful, happy and neutral).
Spectral power analysis in response to the different emotions revealed significant differences between fearful and happy faces over the right frontal regions at 7–8 Hz (low α), and between emotional and neutral faces over the left frontal sites at 12–13 Hz (low β) in a time period between 100–400 ms after visual stimulus onset.
These results demonstrate that emotional face processing occurs very early in time in the absence of any functional striate cortex, and further reveals the existence of specific oscillatory frequencies that reflect unconscious processing of facial expressions in affective blindsight.
Keywords: Affective blindsight, Brain oscillations, Time frequency analysis,
Hemispheric asymmetry, Emotion
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)358-362
JournalInternational Journal of Psychophysiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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