How Do We Understand the Individual Differences in the Tendency to Rely on Contextual Information versus Facial Features?
When a surprised face is presented with an accompanying social context – as is always the case in real world situations – perceivers will have varying degrees of sensitivity towards top-down (i.e., contextual cues) and bottom-up (i.e., facial features) information, when making a decision about how positive or negative the face seems to be. Adapting a computational approach, a behavioral model that considers the individual differences in the sensitivity to these contexts and features was constructed on a subject-by-subject basis to explain how social information from multiple sources are integrated. This measure of sensitivity showed adequate reliability (ICC > 0.8) and trait-like psychometric properties, and was subsequently found to be associated with the strength of amygdala-PFC connectivity (Kim et al., in preparation). We are investigating how the individual differences in sensitivity may be represented as distributed patterns of brain activity.