Carbon C C, Schweinberger S R, Kaufmann J M, Leder H, 2004, "ERP effects of Thatcher faces under delimited presentation times" Perception 33 ECVP Abstract Supplement
ERP effects of Thatcher faces under delimited presentation times
C C Carbon, S R Schweinberger, J M Kaufmann, H Leder
Thatcher faces, which are faces in which the eyes and mouth regions are turned upside-down, are recognised as being severely distorted when presented upright but hardly distinguishable when inverted. Common theories explain this effect by the loss of configural information for inverted faces. We investigated neural correlates of this effect using event-related potentials (ERPs). Sixteen right-handed participants performed yes/no identity decisions for Thatcher or original (familiar) faces, presented for 34 ms or 200 ms in 0°, 90°, or 180° orientation. For the occipito-temporal N170 we found (i) strong effects of orientation, and (ii) differential amplitudes for Thatcher and original faces, not only at 0° orientation, but also for inverted faces. For later ERP components, these effects were additionally modulated by presentation time. Moreover, there were behavioural hints of differential importance of configural and featural processing for short and long presentations times. Microgenetic accounts for explaining these findings are discussed.
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