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English summaries (01/2011)

Lauri Nummenmaa

For your eyes only: Neurocognitive mechanisms of eye gaze perception

Eyes are an important social signal to humans, as changes in gaze direction reflect numerous social and cognitive processes such as visual attention, intentions and emotions. Numerous studies have demonstrated that certain regions in the human brain have specialized in processing gaze information. Such a high level of automation guarantees that we can continuously and effortlessly update and maintain information about others’ gaze direction and intentions, which enables us to predict their future actions. In this review I discuss recent cognitive and neurophysiological findings on the neural mechanisms of gaze perception. I review the neural basis of different subcomponents of the gaze perception processes based on both intracranial recordings in monkeys as well as functional imaging and behavioral studies in humans. I also propose a model of the neural system for gaze perception, and discuss its implications for the distributed model of face perception in humans.

Keywords: gaze, face perception, social cognition, theory of mind, eye movements


Niklas Granö, Marjaana Karjalainen, Arja Itkonen, Virve Edlund, Jukka Anto Erkki Saari & Mikko Roine

Preventing Psychosis Together With Primary and Special Health Care

Previous studies of treatments of people atrisk of developing first-episode psychosis have focused on a few different forms of therapy such as cognitive behavioral therapy and antipsychotic medication. However, there is some previous evidence that problems in family structure might be associated with later development of psychosis and positive family environment might be associated with decreased psychosis risksymptoms. Moreover, recent literature has presented several detection instruments to detect people atrisk for first-episode psychosis. Hence, experience of other forms of detection and intervention methods is needed. Based previous studies, theories and intervention models, the JERI (Jorvi Early Psychosis Recognition and Intervention) -model was developed at the Helsinki University Central Hospital. The JERI-hypothesis is that stress-reducing care, with multiprofessional meetings where family and community co-workers are involved, could decrease pre-psychotic symptoms and increase functioning ability and mental well-being in adolescents atrisk for psychosis. The model is examined using three casestudies. After over four years of experience and a preliminary follow-up study the model seems to work.

Keywords: atrisk of psychosis, detection, adolescents, familyand network intervention