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Stefanie Peykarjou, Sabina Pauen, Stefanie Hoehl; Repetition adaptation for individual human faces in 9-month-old infants? An ERP study. Journal of Vision 2014;14(10):558. doi: 10.1167/14.10.558.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Infants can recognize their caregivers and unfamiliar faces (Bushnell, 2001), but little is known regarding neural correlates of the representation of individual unfamiliar faces. In adults, repetition adaptation effects have been observed for the N170 (Caharel, et al., 2009) and the N250 (Schweinberger, et al., 2004). The current study examined 9-month-olds representation of individual faces by looking at ERP repetition adaptation for repeated vs. unrepeated faces. N = 18 infants (9 months 2 days 9 months 28 days) were presented with face targets that were either (1) unprimed (i. e., preceded by a house), (2) preceded by another face, or (3) preceded by the same face. Faces that were primed by a face (repeated or unrepeated) elicited smaller P1 amplitude (M = -3.99 μV, SD = 6.7) than unprimed faces (P1 amplitude: M = -1.65 μV, SD = 6.0), F(1,17) = 6.268, p <.05. P1 latency was reduced for primed (M = 107.68 ms, SD = 7.6) compared with unprimed faces (M = 111.17 ms, SD = 5.7), F(1,17) = 5.948, p <.05, indicating facilitated processing of primed faces. Moreover, repetition effects were observed for repeated compared to unrepeated faces at the level of a double-peaked negative component (150-300ms). Latency of the first peak ("N170") tended to be reduced for unrepeated faces (repeated: M = 156.13 ms, SD = 24.1, unrepeated: M = 148.76 ms, SD = 19.4), F(1,17) = 3.410, p = .082. Latency of the second peak ("N290") was reduced for repeated faces (repeated: M = 228.25 ms, SD = 28.9, unrepeated: M = 240.13 ms, SD = 34.5), F(1,17) = 4.673, p <.05. In line with previous research, this suggests that the N290 is a neural correlate for processing individual faces in infancy. Double-peaked negative components in the N170-N290 time range have been reported for children (Taylor, Batty, & Itier, 2004), but not for infants so far. Implications of the current results for face representations during infancy will be discussed.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2014
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