Document Detail

Interplay between familiarity and orientation in face processing: an ERP study.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  17512996     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
In order to tap the electrophysiological correlates of the perceptual and structural encoding stages of face processing, we investigated how inversion and familiarity affect the face-specific event-related potentials (ERPs) components. ERPs were recorded while participants performed a familiarity judgment task with upright and inverted photographs of famous and unknown faces. The early P100 component was found to be sensitive to facial configuration that is disrupted by face inversion. Noteworthy, in addition to the ongoing effect of orientation, an effect of familiarity, although limited to upright faces, emerged at the processing stage indexed by N170. Later on, as witnessed by the P250 component, the familiarity effect was generalized to both upright and inverted faces with a larger amplitude for inverted famous faces. All in all, the present results suggest that the face structural encoding stage is cognitively permeable by higher-order factors such as familiarity, especially when familiarity is crucial for mastering the task. From a more general viewpoint, these results indicate that face processing is subserved by multiple mechanisms in which structural (i.e. orientation) and semantic (i.e. familiarity) factors begin to interact at early processing stages with different time courses. The electrophysiological correlates of these mechanisms are documented by the differential involvement of the major ERP components in the "familiarity check". With upright faces familiarity affects the N170 component, while with inverted faces it affects later components, in keeping with a prolonged time course of the familiarity decision when orientation is not upright.
Tessa Marzi; Maria Pia Viggiano
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article     Date:  2007-04-13
Journal Detail:
Title:  International journal of psychophysiology : official journal of the International Organization of Psychophysiology     Volume:  65     ISSN:  0167-8760     ISO Abbreviation:  Int J Psychophysiol     Publication Date:  2007 Sep 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2007-08-27     Completed Date:  2007-12-06     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8406214     Medline TA:  Int J Psychophysiol     Country:  Netherlands    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  182-92     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Psychology, University of Florence, Italy.
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MeSH Terms
Analysis of Variance
Brain Mapping
Electroencephalography / methods
Evoked Potentials, Visual / physiology*
Orientation / physiology*
Pattern Recognition, Visual / physiology*
Photic Stimulation / methods
Reaction Time / physiology
Recognition (Psychology) / physiology*

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