June 2006
Volume 6, Issue 6
Free
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   June 2006
Visual competition during early face processing is driven towards stimuli at the fovea
Author Affiliations
  • Guillaume A Rousselet
    McMaster University, Department of Psychology, Hamilton, ON, Canada
  • Olivier D'Arripe
    University of Louvain, Unite Cognition et Developpement and Laboratoire de Neurophysiologie, Belgium
  • Bruno Rossion
    University of Louvain, Unite Cognition et Developpement and Laboratoire de Neurophysiologie, Belgium
  • Corentin Jacques
    University of Louvain, Unite Cognition et Developpement and Laboratoire de Neurophysiologie, Belgium
Journal of Vision June 2006, Vol.6, 672. doi:10.1167/6.6.672
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      Guillaume A Rousselet, Olivier D'Arripe, Bruno Rossion, Corentin Jacques; Visual competition during early face processing is driven towards stimuli at the fovea. Journal of Vision 2006;6(6):672. doi: 10.1167/6.6.672.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Abstract

The N170 component to a face stimulus presented in the periphery is strongly reduced when another face is present at the fovea (Jacques & Rossion, NeuroReport, 2004). A similar but smaller reduction is observed for fixated faces in the context of peripheral faces (Jacques & Rossion, JOV, in press). Together with the fact that the N170 decreases with eccentricity (Rousselet et al., JOV 2005), these results suggest the existence of a visual competition modulated by a foveal bias, the N170 amplitude being mostly driven by the stimulus at the fovea. Here we clarify this question in an experiment in which a face or a scrambled-face was presented at the fovea together with 2 peripheral faces or scrambled-faces centered at 5 degrees to the left and right of the fixation point. As hypothesized, the N170 amplitude was mostly driven by the stimulus at the fovea.

This was particularly true for a foveal face stimulus, in which case there was no increase associated with peripheral faces at left and temporal sites, and a small increase at occipital right hemisphere sites. The presence of a scrambled-face at the fovea, presented simultaneously with peripheral faces, tended to drive the signal toward the lower N170 response to a scrambled-face alone. Yet, there was still an increase due to faces presented in the periphery. This effect had a bilateral occipital-temporal topography.

These results suggest that foveal stimuli have a strong competitive advantage over stimuli in the periphery, an effect that is even stronger for faces.

Rousselet, G. A. D'Arripe, O. Rossion, B. Jacques, C. (2006). Visual competition during early face processing is driven towards stimuli at the fovea [Abstract]. Journal of Vision, 6(6):672, 672a, http://journalofvision.org/6/6/672/, doi:10.1167/6.6.672. [CrossRef]
Footnotes
 GAR is supported by a CIHR fellowship grant. BR and CJ are supported by the National fundation for scientific research (FNRS)
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