Modulation of facial processing by identity information in a face similarity evaluation task

Qiang Zhou1, Xindong Ye2, Danyang Liao3, Weidong Zhang4
1School of Psychology and Cognitive Science, and Department of Psychology, East China Normal University and Wenzhou Medical University, People’s Republic of China
2Department of Educational Technology, Wenzhou University, People’s Republic of China
3Department of Psychology, Wenzhou Medical University, People’s Republic of China
4School of Psychology and Cognitive Science, East China Normal University, People’s Republic of China
Cite this article:  Zhou, Q., Ye, X., Liao, D., & Zhang, W. (2014). Modulation of facial processing by identity information in a face similarity evaluation task. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 42, 1325-1334.

Volume 42 Issue 8 | e4134 | Published: September 2014 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2014.42.8.1325

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We used a face similarity task with event-related potentials (ERPs) in a study conducted with 22 individuals in order to examine the processing of identity information. During the evaluation task, significant variations in the late negative potential were elicited by different identity contexts of couples versus strangers. By contrast, the face-specific N170 component was not significantly affected by variations in identity context. In addition, participants’ behavioral data were significantly influenced by the task instructions, but not by the true relationship of the couple. Together, ERP and behavioral results suggest that the evaluation of face similarity with identity information occurs at a later stage.

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