BA Psychology (Major), Neuroscience (Minor)
Fuglevand, Allen, Gothard, Lane
I am interested in how emotion impacts physiology and ultimately modulates responses to the environment.
My work focuses on the neural underpinnings of facial expressions. It has long been known that control of facial muscles can be split between at least two major pathways, one somatic and one emotional. While the somatic system controls voluntary or internally driven facial movements, the emotional system is less controllable and is often recruited as part of a global emotional response (think of the difference between smiling for a picture and a Duchenne, or genuine, smile). Although the somatic system, which relays heavily on the primary and supplementary motor cortices, is fairly well understood, our knowledge of the emotional system is mainly limited to clinical and anatomical studies. Understanding the basis of this quick and robust system will provide a new avenue of neuroscientific exploration into a realm that has remained difficult to study, particularly in primates.