Event-related potential investigation of different neural pathways for face and pattern perceptions in the human brain

DOI: 10.4236/jbise.2012.54022   PDF   HTML     4,024 Downloads   6,098 Views   Citations


Two different pathways in the brain have been implicated in the human visual perception process. One involves emotional cognition of face features, and the other involves spatial pattern cognition. In the present study, we used the event-related potential (ERP) method to examine temporal activation of the perception pathways at a fine time resolution of less than 10 ms. Four electrodes were attached onto their heads at O2, Pz, T4, and Fz, and ERP waveforms were observed on each electrode simultaneously. Nine portraits of actresses and 9 geometrical figures were chosen respectively, and presented on a CRT display in random order. The two types of figures elicited different responses. For portraits, the first significant N100 peak appeared on Pz and Fz, but not O2. For patterns, it started at N130 on O2. A significant response to portraits mostly appeared on T4, Pz, and Fz, and to patterns on O2, Pz, and Fz.

Share and Cite:

Aoki, R. , Okamoto, S. , Sakimoto, T. , Yoshida, K. and Sasaki, H. (2012) Event-related potential investigation of different neural pathways for face and pattern perceptions in the human brain. Journal of Biomedical Science and Engineering, 5, 170-175. doi: 10.4236/jbise.2012.54022.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Allison, T., Puce, A., Spencer, D.D. and McCarthy, G., (1999) Electrophysiological studies of human face perception. I: Potentials generated in occipito-temporal cortex by face and non-face stimuli. Cerebral Cortex, 9, 415-460. doi:10.1093/cercor/9.5.415
[2] Bentin, S., Allison, T., Puce, A., Perez and McCarthy, E.G. (1996) Electrophysiological studies of face perception in humans. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 86, 551-565. doi:10.1162/jocn.1996.8.6.551
[3] Haxby, J.V., Hoffman, E.A. and Gobbini, M.I. (2000) The distributed human neural system for face perception. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 4, 223-233. doi:10.1016/S1364-6613(00)01482-0
[4] Sasaki, H. (2009) Cortical and sub-cortical processing of color: A dual processing mode of visual inputs. In: Sukusevich D. and Matikas P., Eds., Color Perception Physiology and Analysis, Nova Science Pub. Inc., NY.
[5] Foxe, J.J. and Simpson, G.V. (2002) Flow of activation from V1 to frontal cortex in humans. A frame work for defining early visual processing. Experimental Brain Research, 142, 139-150. doi:10.1007/s00221-001-0906-7
[6] Haxby, J.V., Hoffman, E.A. and Gobbini, M.I. (2002) Human neural systems for face recognition social communications. Biological Psychiatry, 51, 59-67. doi:10.1016/S0006-3223(01)01330-0
[7] Papez, J.W. (1937) A proposed mechanism of emotion. Archives of Neurology and Psychiatry, 38, 725-743.
[8] Miller, G.A., Lutzenberger, W. and Elbert, T. (1991) The linked reference issue in EEG and ERP recording. Journal of Psychophysiology, 5, 273-276.
[9] Adolphs, R. (2002) Neural systems for recognizing emotion. Current Opinion in Neurobiology, 12, 169-177. doi:10.1016/S0959-4388(02)00301-X
[10] Sanei, S. and Chambers, J. (2007) EEG signal processing. Chapter 3, John Wiley & Sons Ltd., Oxford.
[11] Aoki, R., Okamoto, S., Sakimoto, T., Yoshida, K. and Sasaki, H. (2009) Event related potentials elicited by facial recognition. Neuroscience Research, 65, s40. doi:10.1016/j.neures.2009.09.039
[12] Duncan-Johnson, C.C. and Donchin, E. (1977) On qualifying surprise; the variation of ERP with subjective probability. Psychophysiology, 14, 456-467. doi:10.1111/j.1469-8986.1977.tb01312.x
[13] Rossion, B. and Jacques, C. (2008) Does physical inter-stimulus variance account for early electro-physiological face sensitive responses in the human brain? Ten lessons on the N170. Neuroimage, 39, 1959-1979. doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2007.10.011
[14] Kajiwara, K. (1984) Actresses in French Cinema, Cinealbum No111, Haga Shoten, Tokyo.
[15] Pizzagalli, D., Regard, M. and Lehman, D. (1999) Rapid emotional face processing in the human right left brain hemispheres: an ERP study. Neuroreport, 10, 2691-2698. doi:10.1097/00001756-199909090-00001
[16] Jeffreys, D.A. (1996) Evoked studies of face and object processing. Visual Cognition, 3, 1-38. doi:10.1080/713756729
[17] Joyce, C.A. (2006) Early selection of diagnostic facial information in the human visual cortex. Vision Research, 46, 800-813. doi:10.1016/j.visres.2005.09.016
[18] Righart, R. and deGelder, B. (2008) Rapid influence of emotional scenes on encoding of facial expressions; an ERP study. Social Cognitive & Affective Neuroscience, 3, 270-278. doi:10.1093/scan/nsn021
[19] Nunez, P. L. and Srinivasan, R. (2006) The neuronphysics of EEG. 2nd Edition, Oxford University Press, New York.
[20] Thierry, G., Martin C.D., Downing P. and Pegna, A.J. (2007) Controlling for inter-stimulus perceptual variance abolishes N170 face selectivity. Nature Neuroscience, 10, 505-511.
[21] Federmeier, K.D. and Kutas, M. (2002) Pictures the difference; electrophysiological investigations of picture processing in the two cerebral hemispheres. Neuropsychologia, 40, 730-747. doi:10.1016/S0028-3932(01)00193-2
[22] Polich, J. (2007) Updating P300; An integrative Theory of P3a P3b. Clinical Neurophysiology, 118, 2128-2148. doi:10.1016/j.clinph.2007.04.019

comments powered by Disqus

Copyright © 2020 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.