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Stella Faerber, Jürgen Kaufmann, Stefan Schweinberger; Face recognition: Early temporal negativity is Sensitive to Perceived (rather than Physical) Facial Identity. Journal of Vision 2015;15(12):677. doi: 10.1167/15.12.677.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Increased early negativity to repeated faces over right inferior temporal regions around 200-300 ms has been related to the reactivation of mental representations of individual identities of familiar faces. Since this modulation is typically larger for same-image (compared to different-image) repetitions of a familiar face, it is debated whether it reflects physical stimulus similarity between prime and target, or reactivation of perceived representations of identity. In an EEG-study participants performed a four-choice identification task on famous target faces (1500 ms), which were always preceded by the same average face (500 ms, prime-target SOA 1500 ms). Crucially, by adapting participants to specific anti-faces (5000 ms), we induced different illusory facial identites (cf. Leopold et al., 2001) in the same physical prime stimulus. Importantly, right temporal negativity (~155-400) was significantly larger for “Primed” than “Unprimed” trials (when pre-prime adaptation involved the anti-face specifically corresponding to the target face, vs. a non-corresponding anti-face). We conclude that right temporal negativity in the time range of the P200 and N250r is a neural correlate of the activation of mental representations of individual familiar faces, even when the physical stimulus is kept constant.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2015
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