September 2017
Volume 17, Issue 10
Open Access
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   August 2017
The Spatiotemporal Neural Dynamics of the Processing of Infant Faces.
Author Affiliations
  • Lawrence Symons
    Department of Psychology, Western Washington University
  • Kelly Jantzen
    Department of Psychology, Western Washington University
  • Amanda Hahn
    Department of Psychology, Humboldt State University
  • Taylor Kredel
    Department of Psychology, Western Washington University
  • Benjamin Ratcliff
    Department of Psychology, Western Washington University
  • Nikal Toor
    Department of Psychology, Western Washington University
  • McNeel Jantzen
    Department of Psychology, Western Washington University
Journal of Vision August 2017, Vol.17, 263. doi:10.1167/17.10.263
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      Lawrence Symons, Kelly Jantzen, Amanda Hahn, Taylor Kredel, Benjamin Ratcliff, Nikal Toor, McNeel Jantzen; The Spatiotemporal Neural Dynamics of the Processing of Infant Faces.. Journal of Vision 2017;17(10):263. doi: 10.1167/17.10.263.

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

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Abstract

Substantial evidence indicates that both infant faces and attractive adult faces are associated with stronger activity across an extended face processing networks that critically includes the orbitofrontal cortex and the fusiform gyrus. In this study we used electroencephalography (EEG) to investigate the spatiotemporal brain dynamics of face processing to better understand the degree to which specialized processing occurs for infant faces. EEG was acquired while participants viewed infant faces and adult faces of the same or opposite sex. All faces were digitally manipulated to have high and low aesthetic version. Source analysis of the event related potentials revealed activity across a broad face processing network. The most significant increases occurred for infant faces regardless of cuteness. Early increases were observed at the time of the N170 in the orbitofrontal cortex, the inferior occipital gyrus and the fusiform gyrus. Later increases were observed between 300 and 500 milliseconds in the anterior cingulate, the superior temporal sulcus and the precuneus. Attractiveness resulted in only a modest change in neural activity. The results of this experiment suggest that infant faces undergo specialized processing that does not simply reflect their perceived cuteness.

Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2017

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