Differential early processing for faces and characters: N170 inversion and mirror effects

Yangen Zhou1, Xianmin Liu2, Ya Zheng3, Xiaochen Tang4, Pengcheng Zhang4, Jiamei Lu4
1College of Education, Shanghai Normal University and Taizhou College of Nanjing Normal University, People’s Republic of China
2Taizhou College of Nanjing Normal University, People’s Republic of China
3Department of Psychology, Dalian Medical University, People’s Republic of China
4College of Education, Shanghai Normal University, People’s Republic of China
Cite this article:  Zhou, Y., Liu, X., Zheng, Y., Tang, X., Zhang, P., & Lu, J. (2014). Differential early processing for faces and characters: N170 inversion and mirror effects. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 42(2), 341-352.

Volume 42 Issue 2 | e3519 | Published: March 2014 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2014.42.2.341

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In the current study we compared the inversion and mirror effects on the N170 component, an event-related potential related to the neural processing of faces, in Chinese characters and faces. Faces displayed an obvious inversion effect on N170 latency and amplitude, whereas characters only showed a slight inversion effect on N170 latency. Moreover, both faces and characters were tolerant to mirror reversal for the N170 component despite a robust behavioral mirror cost for characters. These data indicate dissociation between processing faces and characters during the early perceptual stage.

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