The autonomic measure revealed a pattern of heart rate increases, replicating previous findings concerning loved familiar faces and names. The fMRI measures showed higher strength for faces than names, but for both types of stimuli, there are some brain regions that predicted the magnitude of cardiac response. These regions included frontal and temporal structures for faces and names respectively, and the magnitude of brain and autonomic responses to love are correlated.
The results showed accelerative patterns in heart rate, together with brain activations, which were significantly higher for loved people than for unknown people. Significant correlations were found between heart rate and brain activation in frontal areas, for faces, and in temporal areas, for names.
There is obviously quite a bit of scientific technobabble in the study, but the results are in and very clear: When you see photos of loved ones faces and names, your brain lights up and activates correlating to feelings of love and happiness!
So do your mood a favour and download the Faces App today.
1. Vila, J., Morato, C., Lucas, I., Guerra, P., Castro-Laguardia, A. M., & Bobes, M. A. (2019). The affective processing of loved familiar faces and names: Integrating fMRI and heart rate. PloS ONE, 14(4), e0216057. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0216057