August 2023
Volume 23, Issue 9
Open Access
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   August 2023
An electrophysiological investigation of facial race and identity decoding
Author Affiliations
  • Moaz Shoura
    University of Toronto Scarborough
  • Marco A. Sama
    University of Toronto Scarborough
  • Arijit De
    University of Toronto Scarborough
  • Sophie Zhou
    University of Toronto Scarborough
  • Adrian Nestor
    University of Toronto Scarborough
Journal of Vision August 2023, Vol.23, 5573. doi:
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      Moaz Shoura, Marco A. Sama, Arijit De, Sophie Zhou, Adrian Nestor; An electrophysiological investigation of facial race and identity decoding. Journal of Vision 2023;23(9):5573.

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

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The other-race effect (ORE) refers to the advantage of recognizing faces of one’s own race relative to faces of a different race. Extensive research has investigated its prevalence as a behavioral effect as well as its neural correlates through univariate analyses of electrophysiological (EEG) data. However, a multivariate account of this effect and of its temporal dynamics is largely missing from the field. The current study addresses this challenge via pattern analysis of EEG data in East Asian and Caucasian adults. Specifically, we aimed to assess the neural representation of race and identity for faces of the two races. Our results point toward clear decoding of facial race information over occipitotemporal channels. Significant decoding emerged as early as 100 ms after stimulus onset and remained significant for around 600 ms. Further, the decoding of facial identity within each race exhibited a similar time course and capitalized on the image dissimilarity of the face stimuli. However, decoding reached higher levels of accuracy for faces of the same race as that of the observers and, also, it was consistent with behavioral estimates of ORE across the observers. Thus, our results speak to the neural basis of facial race representations, its temporal dynamics and its relationship with the ORE.


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