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Neuropsychologia. 2003;41(2):147-55.

Beauty in a smile: the role of medial orbitofrontal cortex in facial attractiveness.

Author information

  • 1Wellcome Department of Imaging Neuroscience, Institute of Neurology, 12 Queen Square, London WC1 3BG, UK. j.odoherty@fil.ion.ucl.ac.uk

Abstract

The attractiveness of a face is a highly salient social signal, influencing mate choice and other social judgements. In this study, we used event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate brain regions that respond to attractive faces which manifested either a neutral or mildly happy face expression. Attractive faces produced activation of medial orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), a region involved in representing stimulus-reward value. Responses in this region were further enhanced by a smiling facial expression, suggesting that the reward value of an attractive face as indexed by medial OFC activity is modulated by a perceiver directed smile.

PMID:
12459213
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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