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Milena Dzhelyova, Giulia Dormal, Corentin Jacques, Caroline Michel, Christine Schiltz, Bruno Rossion; High test-retest reliability of a neural index of rapid automatic discrimination of unfamiliar individual faces. Journal of Vision 2019;19(10):136c. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/19.10.136c.
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A key aspect of human individual face recognition is the ability to discriminate unfamiliar individual faces. Since many general processes contribute to explicit behavioural performance in individual face discrimination tasks, measuring unfamiliar individual face discrimination ability in humans is challenging. In recent years, a fast periodic visual stimulation approach has provided objective (frequency-locked) implicit electrophysiological indices of individual face discrimination that are highly sensitive at the individual level. Here we evaluate the test-retest reliability of this response across scalp electroencephalographic (EEG) recording sessions separated by more than two months, in the same 30 individuals. We found no test-retest difference overall across sessions in terms of amplitude and spatial distribution of the EEG individual face discrimination response. Moreover, with only 4 minutes of recordings, the variable individual face discrimination response across individuals was highly stable (i.e., reliable) in terms of amplitude, spatial distribution and shape. This stable EEG response was also significantly correlated with speed, but not accuracy rate, of the Benton face recognition task (BFRT-c, Rossion, & Michel, 2018). Overall, these observations strengthen the diagnostic value of FPVS-EEG as an objective and rapid flag for specific difficulties at individual face recognition in the human population. Rossion, B., & Michel, C. (2017). Normative data for accuracy and response times at the computerized Benton Facial Recognition Test (BFRT-c). Behavior Research Methods
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