October 2020
Volume 20, Issue 11
Open Access
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   October 2020
Getting to know you: altered response in occipital-temporal cortex after personal familiarization
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Charlotta Eick
    Friedrich-Schiller University Jena
  • Géza Gergely Ambrus
    Friedrich-Schiller University Jena
  • Gyula Kovács
    Friedrich-Schiller University Jena
  • Footnotes
    Acknowledgements  This study was supported by a Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft Grant [grant number KO 3918/5-1].
Journal of Vision October 2020, Vol.20, 103. doi:https://doi.org/10.1167/jov.20.11.103
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      Charlotta Eick, Géza Gergely Ambrus, Gyula Kovács; Getting to know you: altered response in occipital-temporal cortex after personal familiarization. Journal of Vision 2020;20(11):103. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/jov.20.11.103.

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

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The process when we get to know a person makes his/her initially unfamiliar face familiar and alters its cortical representation. Recently, it has been shown that familiar and unfamiliar faces elicit differential steady-state visual evoked potentials (ssVEP) over the occipital-temporal region (OT). Here, we used a personal familiarisation paradigm, to evaluate how originally unfamiliar faces become familiar. Participants (n = 22) were personally familiarized with two female target identities in the course of three consecutive days (minimum 30 minutes of real-life contact over playing a card-game and discussions in a natural environment each day). We recorded the EEG to measure the ssVEPs in a Fast Periodic Visual Stimulation paradigm for the faces of the target persons and two unfamiliar foil identities (presented with a rate of 0.85 Hz) among unfamiliar female faces (presentation rate - 6 Hz) before and after this familiarization phase. The ssVEP showed an enhanced amplitude to the familiarized faces, when compared to the unfamiliar ones after familiarization over OT regions. Our results indicate that a brief personal familiarization phase is sufficient to alter facial representations and that the ssVEP is sensitive enough to detect these changes.


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