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Maria Zhu, Esther Alonso-Prieto, Todd Handy, Jason Barton; The brain frequency tuning function for facial emotion discrimination: An ssVEP study. Journal of Vision 2016;16(6):12. doi: 10.1167/16.6.12.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Steady-state visual evoked potentials have only been applied recently to the study of face perception. We used this method to study the spatial and temporal dynamics of expression perception in the human brain and test the prediction that, as in the case of identity perception, the optimal frequency for facial expression would also be in the range of 5–6 Hz. We presented facial expressions at different flickering frequencies (2–8 Hz) to human observers while recording their brain electrical activity. Our modified adaptation paradigm contrasted blocks with varying expressions versus blocks with a constant neutral expression, while facial identity was kept constant. The presentation of different expressions created a larger steady-state response only at 5 Hz, corresponding to a cycle of 200 ms, over right occipito-temporal electrodes. Source localization using a time-domain analysis showed that the effect localized to the right occipito-temporal cortex, including the superior temporal sulcus and fusiform gyrus.
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