Discrimination of emotional facial expressions in a visual oddball task: an ERP study.


:Several ERP studies have shown an orienting complex, the N2/P3a, associated to the detection of stimulus novelty. Its role consists in preparing the organism to process and react to biologically prepotent stimuli. Whether this N2/P3a: (1) could be obtained with complex visual stimuli, such as with emotional facial expressions; and (2) could take part in a complex discrimination process has yet to be determined. To investigate this issue, event-related potentials were recorded in response to repetitions of a particular facial expression (e.g. sadness) and in response to two different deviant (rare) stimuli, one depicting the same emotion as the frequent stimulus, while the other depicted a different facial expression (e.g. fear). As expected, deviant stimuli evoked an N2/P3a complex of larger amplitude than frequent stimuli. But more interestingly, when the deviant stimulus depicted the same emotion as the frequent stimulus the N2/P3a was delayed compared to the response elicited by the different-emotion deviant. The N2/P3a was thus implicated in the detection of physical facial changes, with a higher sensitivity to changes related to a new different emotional content, perhaps leading to faster adaptive reactions.


Biol Psychol


Biological psychology


Campanella S,Gaspard C,Debatisse D,Bruyer R,Crommelinck M,Guerit JM





Has Abstract


2002-05-01 00:00:00














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