Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

Adaptation duration dissociates category-, image-, and person-specific processes on face-evoked event-related potentials

By Marta eZimmer, Adriana eZbant, Kornél eNémeth and Gyula eKovács and Gyula eKovács


Several studies demonstrated that face perception is biased by the prior presentation of another face, a phenomenon termed as face-related after-effect (FAE). FAE is linked to a neural signal-reduction at occipito-temporal areas and it can be observed in the amplitude modulation of the early event-related potential (ERP) components. Recently, macaque single-cell recording studies suggested that manipulating the duration of the adaptor makes the selective adaptation of different visual motion processing steps possible. To date, however, only a few studies tested the effects of adaptor duration on the electrophysiological correlates of human face processing directly. The goal of the current study was to test the effect of adaptor duration on the image-, identity- and generic category-specific face processing steps. To this end, in a two-alternative forced choice familiarity decision task we used five adaptor durations (ranging from 200 to 5000 ms) and four adaptor categories: adaptor and test were identical images – Repetition Suppression (RS); adaptor and test were different images of the Same Identity (SameID); adaptor and test images depicted Different Identities (DiffID); the adaptor was a Fourier phase-randomized image (No). Behaviourally, a strong priming effect was observed in both accuracy and response times for RS compared with both DiffID and No. The electrophysiological results suggest that rapid adaptation leads to a category-specific modulation of P100, N170, and N250. In addition, both identity and image-specific processes affected the N250 component during rapid adaptation. On the other hand, prolonged (5000 ms) adaptation enhanced and extended category-specific adaptation processes over all tested ERP components. Additionally, prolonged adaptation led to the emergence of image-, and identity-specific modulations on the N170 and P2 components as well. In other words, there was a clear dissociation among category, identity-, and image-specific processing steps in the case of longer (3500 and 5000 ms) but not for shorter durations (< 3500 ms), reflected in the gradual reduction of N170 and enhancement of P2 in the No, DiffID, SameID and RS conditions. Our findings imply that by manipulating adaptation duration one can dissociate the various steps of human face processing, reflected in the ERP response

Topics: face processing, Event-related potentials, Neural adaptation, adaptation duration, face after-effect, Psychology, BF1-990
Publisher: Frontiers Media S.A.
Year: 2015
DOI identifier: 10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01945
OAI identifier:
Download PDF:
Sorry, we are unable to provide the full text but you may find it at the following location(s):
  • (external link)
  • (external link)
  • (external link)
  • Suggested articles

    To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.