The overlap of neural selectivity between faces and words: evidences from the N170 adaptation effect.

Research paper by Xiaohua X Cao, Bei B Jiang, Carl C Gaspar, Chao C Li

Indexed on: 24 May '14Published on: 24 May '14Published in: Experimental Brain Research


Faces and words both evoke an N170, a strong electrophysiological response that is often used as a marker for the early stages of expert pattern perception. We examine the relationship of neural selectivity between faces and words by using a novel application of cross-category adaptation to the N170. We report a strong asymmetry between N170 adaptation induced by faces and by words. This is the first electrophysiological result showing that neural selectivity to faces encompasses neural selectivity to words and suggests that the N170 response to faces constitutes a neural marker for versatile representations of familiar visual patterns.