About Me

Andrew Engell joined the Kenyon College faculty in 2013. His research program is motivated by his interest in how the brain gives rise to a vast repertoire of elaborate social and cognitive skills.

Dr. Engell is particularly interested in the seemingly effortless way that people identify and interpret non-verbal social information that is conveyed by facial expression, eye-gaze direction, facial identity, body posture, and biological motion. To better understand how the brain generates these remarkable facilities, he has used a multimodal approach that includes functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), intracranial electroencephalography (EEG), and behavioral experiments.

Human neuroscience methods is also an area of focus for Dr. Engell, as he finds the tools used to measure human brain activity inherently interesting. For example, he has explored the relationship between the hemodynamic signal (i.e., changes in how much oxygen is in the blood) measured by fMRI and local-field potentials (i.e., electrical signals produced by large groups of neurons) measured by EEG.

Dr. Engell completed his Ph.D. in Psychology and Neuroscience at Princeton University, and his postdoctoral training in EEG at Yale University. His work has been supported by a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship and a National Institute of Mental Health National Research Service Award.

Dr. Engell lives in the Gambier area with his wife, Dana, and their adopted German Shepherd, Carol. He can often be found being led around by one or the other.



Recent News

Face, body, and eye selective responses in the fusiform gyrus and adjacent cortex: an intracranial EEG study.

Engell, AD & McCarthy, G. frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 2014

Functional MRI (fMRI) studies have investigated the degree to which processing of whole faces, face-parts, and bodies are differentially localized within the fusiform gyrus and adjacent ventral occipitotemporal cortex. While some studies have emphasized the spatial differentiation of processing into discrete areas, others have emphasized the overlap of processing and the importance of distributed patterns of activity. Intracranial EEG (iEEG) recorded from subdural electrodes provides excellent temporal and spatial resolution of local neural activity, and thus provides an alternative method to fMRI for studying differences and commonalities in face and body processing. In this study we recorded iEEG from 12 patients while they viewed images of novel faces, isolated eyes, headless bodies, and flowers. ERP analysis identified 69 occipitotemporal sites at which there was a face-, eye-, or body-selective response when contrasted to flowers. However, when comparing faces, eyes, and bodies to each other at these sites, we identified only 3 face-specific, 13 eye-specific, and 1 body-specific electrodes. Thus, at the majority of sites, faces, eyes, and bodies evoked similar responses. However, we identified ten locations at which the amplitude of the responses spatially varied across adjacent electrodes, indicating that the configuration of current sources and sinks were different for faces, eyes, and bodies. Our results also demonstrate that eye-sensitive regions are more abundant and more purely selective than face- or body-sensitive regions, particularly in lateral occipitotemporal cortex.

Stimulus induced reversal of information flow through a cortical network for animacy perception

Shultz, S, van den Honert, RN, Engell, AD, and McCarthy, G. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, In Press

Decades of research have demonstrated that a region of the right fusiform gyrus (FG) and right posterior superior temporal sulcus (pSTS) respond preferentially to static faces and biological motion, respectively. Despite this view, both regions activate in response to both stimulus categories and to a range of other stimuli, such as goal-directed actions, suggesting that these regions respond to characteristics of animate agents more generally. Here we propose a neural model for animacy detection composed of processing streams that are initially differentially sensitive to cues signaling animacy, but that ultimately act in concert to support reasoning about animate agents. We use Dynamic Causal Modeling, a measure of effective connectivity, to demonstrate that the directional flow of information between the FG and pSTS is initially dependent on the characteristics of the animate agent presented, a key prediction of our proposed network for animacy detection.

Repetition suppression of face-selective evoked and induced EEG recorded from human cortex

Engell, AD & McCarthy, G, Human Brain Mapping, In Press

In functional MRI studies, repetition suppression refers to the reduction of hemodynamic activation to repeated stimulus presentation. For example, the repeated presentation of a face reduces the hemodynamic response evoked by faces in the fusiform gyrus. The neural events that underlie repetition suppression are not well understood. Indeed, in contrast to the hemodynamic response, the face-specific N200 recorded from subdural electrodes on the ventral occipitotemporal cortex, primarily along the fusiform gyrus, has been reported to be insensitive to face-identity repetition. We have previously described a face-specific broadband gamma (30-100 Hz) response at ventral face-specific N200 sites that is functionally dissociable from the N200. In this study we investigate whether gamma and other components of the electroencephalogram spectrum are affected by face-identity repetition independently of the N200. Participants viewed sequentially presented identical faces. At sites on and around the fusiform gyrus, we found that face repetition modulated alpha (8-12 Hz), low-gamma (30-60 Hz) and high-gamma (60-100 Hz) synchrony, but not the N200. These findings provide evidence of a spatially co-localized progression of face processing. Whereas the N200 reflects an initial obligatory response that is less sensitive to face-identity repetition, the subsequent spectral fluctuations reflect more elaborative face processing and are thus sensitive to face novelty. It is notable that the observed modulations were different for different frequency bands. We observed repetition suppression of broadband gamma, but repetition enhancement of alpha synchrony. This difference is discussed with regard to an existing model of repetition suppression and behavioral repetition priming.

Kenyon College bound!

I am thrilled to announce that this fall I will be moving to Ohio as the new Assistant Professor of Psychology at Kenyon College.

Publications

Engell A.D. and McCarthy G. (2014). Face, eye, and body selective responses in fusiform gyrus and adjacent cortex: an intracranial EEG study. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 8.

 

Engell A.D. and McCarthy G. (2014). Repetition suppression of face-selective evoked and induced EEG recorded from human cortex. Human Brain Mapping, 35, 4155-4162.

 

Shultz, S., van den Honert, R.N., Engell A.D. and McCarthy G. (2014). Stimulus induced reversal of information flow through a cortical network for animacy perception. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience. doi: 10.1093/scan/nsu0

 

Engell A.D. and McCarthy G. (2013). fMRI activation by face and biological motion perception: Comparison of response maps and creation of probabilistic atlases. NeuroImage, 74, 140-151.

 

Engell A.D., Huettel S., and McCarthy G. (2012). The fMRI BOLD signal tracks electrophysiological spectral perturbations, not event-related potentials. NeuroImage, 59, 2600-2606.

 

Nummenmaa, L., Engell A.D., von dem Hagen, E., Henson, R.N., and Calder, A.J. (2012). Autism Spectrum Traits Predict the Neural Response to Eye Gaze in Typical Individuals. NeuroImage, 59, 3356-3363.

 

Todoorov, A., Said, C.P., Oosterhof, N.N., and Engell, A.D. (2011). Task-invariant brain responses to the social value of faces. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience. 23, 2766-2781.

 

von dem Hagen, E., Nummenmaa, L., Yu, R., Engell, A.D., Ewbank, M.P. and Calder, A.J. (2011). Autism spectrum traits in the typical population predict structure and function in the posterior superior temporal sulcus. Cerebral Cortex. 21, 493-500.

 

Engell A.D. and McCarthy G. (2011). The relationship of gamma oscillations and face-specific ERPs recorded subdurally from occipitotemporal cortex. Cerebral Cortex, 21, 1213-1221.

 

Said, C.P., Moore, C.D., Engell, A.D., Todorov, A. and Haxby, J.V. (2010). Distributed representations of dynamic facial expressions in the superior temporal sulcus. Journal of Vision, 10, 1-12.

 

Baron, S., Gobinni, M., Engell, A.D., and Todorov, A. (2010). Amygdala and dorsomedial prefrontal cortex responses to appearance-based and behavior-based person impressions. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 6, 572-581.

 

Engell, A.D., Nummenmaa, L., Henson, R.A., Haxby, J.V. and Calder, A.J. (2010). Differential activation of frontoparietal attention networks by social and symbolic spatial cues. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 5, 432-440.

 

Engell, A.D. and McCarthy, G. (2010). Selective attention modulates face-specific induced gamma oscillations recorded from human fusiform gyrus. Journal of Neuroscience, 30, 8780-86.

 

Engell A.D., Todorov, A., and Haxby J.V. (2010). Common neural mechanisms for the evaluation of facial trustworthiness and emotional expressions as revealed by behavioral adaptation. Perception, 39, 931-41.

 

Hassin, R.R., Bargh, J.A., Engell, A.D., and McCulloch, K.C. (2009). Implicit working memory. Consciousness and Cognition, 16, 21-58.

 

Nummenmaa, L., Passamonti, L., Rowe, J., Engell, A.D., and Calder, A.J. (2009). Connectivity analysis reveals a cortical network for eye gaze perception. Cerebral Cortex, 20, 1780-1787.

 

Todorov, A. and Engell, A.D. (2008). The role of the amygdala in implicit evaluation of emotionally neutral faces. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 3, 303-312.

 

Todorov A., Said C.P., Engell A.D., and Oosterhof, N.N. (2008). Understanding evaluation of faces on social dimensions. Trends In Cognitive Sciences, 12, 455-460.

 

Engell, A.D. and Haxby, J.V. (2007). Facial expression and gaze-direction in human superior temporal sulcus. Neuropsychologia, 45, 3234-3241.

 

Engell, A.D., Haxby, J.V., Todorov, A. (2007). Implicit trustworthiness decisions: Automatic coding of face properties in human amygdala. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 19,1508-1519.

 

Greene, J.D., Nystrom, L.E., Engell, A.D., Darley, J.M., Cohen, J.D. (2004). The neural bases of cognitive conflict and control in moral judgment. Neuron, 44, 389-400.

Engell A.D. and McCarthy G. (2014). Face, eye, and body selective responses in fusiform gyrus and adjacent cortex: an intracranial EEG study. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 8.

 

Engell A.D. and McCarthy G. (2014). Repetition suppression of face-selective evoked and induced EEG recorded from human cortex. Human Brain Mapping, 35, 4155-4162

 

Shultz, S., van den Honert, R.N., Engell A.D. and McCarthy G. (2014). Stimulus induced reversal of information flow through a cortical network for animacy perception. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience. doi: 10.1093/scan/nsu0

Engell A.D., Huettel S., and McCarthy G. (2012). The fMRI BOLD signal tracks electrophysiological spectral perturbations, not event-related potentials. NeuroImage, 59, 2600-2606.

 

Nummenmaa, L., Engell A.D., von dem Hagen, E., Henson, R.N., and Calder, A.J. (2012). Autism Spectrum Traits Predict the Neural Response to Eye Gaze in Typical Individuals. NeuroImage, 59, 3356-3363.

Engell A.D. and McCarthy G. (2011). The relationship of gamma oscillations and face-specific ERPs recorded subdurally from occipitotemporal cortex. Cerebral Cortex, 21, 1213-1221.

 

Todoorov, A., Said, C.P., Oosterhof, N.N., and Engell, A.D. (2011). Task-invariant brain responses to the social value of faces. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 23, 2766-2781.

 

von dem Hagen, E., Nummenmaa, L., Yu, R., Engell, A.D., Ewbank, M.P. and Calder, A.J. (2011). Autism spectrum traits in the typical population predict structure and function in the posterior superior temporal sulcus. Cerebral Cortex, 21, 493-500.

Engell A.D., Todorov, A., and Haxby J.V. (2010). Common neural mechanisms for the evaluation of facial trustworthiness and emotional expressions as revealed by behavioral adaptation. Perception, 39, 931-41.

 

Engell, A.D. and McCarthy, G. (2010). Selective attention modulates face-specific induced gamma oscillations recorded from human fusiform gyrus. Journal of Neuroscience, 30, 8780-86.

 

Engell, A.D., Nummenmaa, L., Henson, R.A., Haxby, J.V. and Calder, A.J. (2010). Differential activation of frontoparietal attention networks by social and symbolic spatial cues. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 5, 432-440.

 

Baron, S., Gobinni, M., Engell, A.D., and Todorov, A. (2010). Amygdala and dorsomedial prefrontal cortex responses to appearance-based and behavior-based person impressions. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 6, 572-581.

 

Said, C.P., Moore, C.D., Engell, A.D., Todorov, A. and Haxby, J.V. (2010). Distributed representations of dynamic facial expressions in the superior temporal sulcus. Journal of Vision, 10, 1-12.

Nummenmaa, L., Passamonti, L., Rowe, J., Engell, A.D., and Calder, A.J. (2009). Connectivity analysis reveals a cortical network for eye gaze perception. Cerebral Cortex, 20, 1780-1787.

 

Hassin, R.R., Bargh, J.A., Engell, A.D., and McCulloch, K.C. (2009). Implicit working memory. Consciousness and Cognition, 16, 21-58.

Todorov A., Said C.P., Engell A.D., and Oosterhof, N.N. (2008). Understanding evaluation of faces on social dimensions. Trends In Cognitive Sciences, 12, 455-460.

 

Todorov, A. and Engell, A.D. (2008). The role of the amygdala in implicit evaluation of emotionally neutral faces. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 3, 303-312.

Engell, A.D., Haxby, J.V., Todorov, A. (2007). Implicit trustworthiness decisions: Automatic coding of face properties in human amygdala. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 19,1508-1519.

 

Engell, A.D. and Haxby, J.V. (2007). Facial expression and gaze-direction in human superior temporal sulcus. Neuropsychologia, 45, 3234-3241.

Greene, J.D., Nystrom, L.E., Engell, A.D., Darley, J.M., Cohen, J.D. (2004). The neural bases of cognitive conflict and control in moral judgment. Neuron, 44, 389-400.

Curriculum Vitae

Atlas of Social Agent Perception (ASAP)

The Atlas of Social Agent Perception is a collection of  fMRI probabilistic maps of face, biological motion, scene, and house perception. The atlas is freely available via download or by emailing me at engella at kenyon dot edu.

If you find the atlas useful, please cite:

Engell A.D. and McCarthy G. (2013). fMRI activation by face and biological motion perception: Comparison of response maps and creation of probabilistic atlases. NeuroImage, 74, 140-151.

—–
Download ASAP

Contact Me

Email

engella at kenyon dot edu

 

Office Hours

Book Appointment

 

Web

Andrew D. Engell
Kenyon College, Department of Psychology
Google Scholar Profile

 

Mail

Department of Psychology
Samuel Mather Hall
Kenyon College
Gambier, OH 43022

Courier

Department of Psychology
Yale University
2 Hillhouse Ave
New Haven, CT 06511
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