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The n170 shows differential repetition effects for faces, objects, and orthographic stimuli

Mercure, Evelyne and Cohen Kadosh, Kathrin and Johnson, Mark H. (2011) The n170 shows differential repetition effects for faces, objects, and orthographic stimuli. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 5 (6), ISSN 1662-5161.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnhum.2011.00006

Abstract

Previous event-related potentials research has suggested that the N170 component has a larger amplitude to faces and words than to other stimuli, but it remains unclear whether it indexes the same cognitive processes for faces and for words. The present study investigated how category-level repetition effects on the N170 differ across stimulus categories. Faces, cars, words, and non-words were presented in homogeneous (1 category) or mixed blocks (2 intermixed categories). We found a significant repetition effect of N170 amplitude for successively presented faces and cars (in homogeneous blocks), but not for words and unpronounceable consonant strings, suggesting that the N170 indexes different underlying cognitive processes for objects (including faces) and orthographic stimuli. The N170 amplitude was significantly smaller when multiple faces or multiple cars were presented in a row than when these stimuli were preceded by a stimulus of a different category. Moreover, the large N170 repetition effect for faces may be important to consider when comparing the relative N170 amplitude for different stimulus categories. Indeed, a larger N170 deflection for faces than for other stimulus categories was observed only when stimuli were preceded by a stimulus of a different category (in mixed blocks), suggesting that an enhanced N170 to faces may be more reliably observed when faces are presented within the context of some non-face stimuli.

Item Type: Article
Keyword(s) / Subject(s): adaptation, habituation, event-related potentials, face processing, objects, words
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Science > Psychological Sciences
Depositing User: Administrator
Date Deposited: 23 May 2011 07:57
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2013 12:33
URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/3345

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