Automatic face identity encoding at the N170
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The N170 event-related potential component is currently under investigation for its role in face identity processing. Using a location-matching paradigm, in which face identity is task irrelevant, we observed a progressive decrease in N170 amplitude to multiple repetitions of upright faces presented at unattended locations. In contrast, we did not observe N170 habituation for repeat presentations of inverted faces. The findings suggest that the N170 repetition effects reflect early face identity processes that are part of familiarity acquisition of new faces.
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