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Lawrence Symons, Kelly Jantzen, Amanda Hahn; Race-modulated N170 Response to the Thatcher Illusion: Evidence for the expertise theory of the other race effect. Journal of Vision 2010;10(7):693. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/10.7.693.
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It has been suggested that differential use of configural processing strategies may be the underlying cause of racially-based recognition deficits. By employing a well known configural manipulation (thatcherization), we aimed to demonstrate, electrophysiologically, that configural processing is used to a greater extent when viewing same-race faces than when viewing other-race faces. N170 ERP responses were measured for participants viewing normal and thatcherized faces of the same-race (Caucasian) and of another race (African-American). The N170 response was modulated to a greater extent by thatcherization for same-race faces, suggesting that the processing of these faces is, in fact, more reliant on configural information than other-race faces. These findings considered to be the result of greater experience, and thus greater expertise with faces of one's own race as compared to faces of another race.
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