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Automatic detection of orientation changes of faces versus non-face objects: a visual MMN study

Automatic detection of orientation changes of faces versus non-face objects: a visual MMN study

Authors: 
Wang, W., Miao, D. & Zhao, L.
Year: 
2014
Journal: 
Biological Psychology
Abstract: 

To investigate the automatic change detection of faces versus non-face objects, the visual mismatch negativity (vMMN) elicited by deviant orientation (90° versus 0°) for faces and houses, respectively, was recorded using the deviant-standard-reversed paradigm. The present face stimuli elicited larger N170 than did houses, regardless of the orientation. A larger and delayed N170 for deviant rotated faces was elicited than that for standard rotated faces, whereas the N170 did not differ between deviant and standard rotated houses. The rotated faces elicited increased vMMN amplitude and decreased vMMN latency than did the rotated houses. The face-MMN with a right occipito-temporal scalp distribution was larger for the rotated than upright conditions but the orientation did not modulate the amplitudes of house MMN. These data provided electrophysiological evidence for larger sensitivity for orientation changes of faces than those of objects even in the absence of attention, due to the disruption of configural processing caused by face rotation.

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