Afterimage induced neural activity during emotional face perception
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The N170 response differs when positive versus negative facial expressions are viewed. This neural response could be associated with the perception of emotions, or some feature of the stimulus. We used an aftereffect paradigm to clarify. Consistent with previous reports of emotional aftereffects, a neutral face was more likely to be described as happy following a sad face adaptation, and more likely to be described as sad following a happy face adaptation. In addition, similar to previous observations with actual emotional faces, we found differences in the latency of the N170 elicited by the neutral face following sad versus happy face adaptation, demonstrating that the emotion-specific effect on the N170 emerges even when emotion expressions are perceptually different but physically identical. The re-entry of emotional information from other brain regions may be driving the emotional aftereffects and the N170 latency differences.
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