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    Facial identity and facial expression are initially integrated at visual perceptual stages of face processing

    Fisher, Katie and Towler, John and Eimer, Martin (2016) Facial identity and facial expression are initially integrated at visual perceptual stages of face processing. Neuropsychologia 80 , pp. 115-125. ISSN 0028-3932.

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    It is frequently assumed that facial identity and facial expression are analysed in functionally and anatomically distinct streams within the core visual face processing system. To investigate whether expression and identity interact during the visual processing of faces, we employed a sequential matching procedure where participants compared either the identity or the expression of two successively presented faces, and ignored the other irrelevant dimension. Repetitions versus changes of facial identity and expression were varied independently across trials, and event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded during task performance. Irrelevant facial identity and irrelevant expression both interfered with performance in the expression and identity matching tasks. These symmetrical interference effects show that neither identity nor expression can be selectively ignored during face matching, and suggest that they are not processed independently. N250r components to identity repetitions that reflect identity matching mechanisms in face-selective visual cortex were delayed and attenuated when there was an expression change, demonstrating that facial expression interferes with visual identity matching. These findings provide new evidence for interactions between facial identity and expression within the core visual processing system, and question the hypothesis that these two attributes are processed independently.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Face perception, Face recognition, Facial expression, Emotion, ERP, N250r
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Psychological Sciences
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 24 Nov 2015 11:24
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:19


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