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John Towler, Martin Eimer; The N250r component indexes holistic perception of individual facial identity. Journal of Vision 2013;13(9):170. doi: 10.1167/13.9.170.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
The composite face illusion is a well-known demonstration of holistic processing in face perception. However, little is known about the time course of neural processes that produce this effect. A repetition paradigm was employed where trials could contain repetitions of the same face, of two different faces, or of faces with the same top half but a different bottom half. The face halves were either aligned or misaligned. Participants had to judge whether the top halves of each face pair were identical or different, and to ignore the bottom halves. They were slower and less accurate in judging the top halves of a face pair as identical when the bottom halves were different, but only for aligned faces. Event-related brain potentials (ERPs) were measured during task performance to obtain N170 and N250r components as ERP markers of face perception and identity-sensitive face processing, respectively. The N170 component was larger in response to misaligned faces, reflecting a disruption of the canonical facial configuration. The N250r component was present for repetitions of identical aligned faces, but was eliminated when two identical top face halves were aligned with different bottom halves. This result shows that holistic representations of individual faces are available to be matched in visual working memory within 220ms after stimulus onset.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2013
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