Collin C A, Therrien M E, Campbell K B, 2012, "Effects of band-pass spatial frequency filtering of face and object images on the amplitude of N170" Perception 41(6) 717 – 732
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Effects of band-pass spatial frequency filtering of face and object images on the amplitude of N170
Charles A Collin, Megan E Therrien, Kenneth B Campbell
Abstract. Previous studies have suggested that physiological responses are greatest and face recognition performance is best when a band of middle relative spatial frequencies (SFs) is included in stimuli. Conversely, behavioural data suggest that object recognition performance shows comparatively little effect of SF variations. Here, we examine the effects of SF filtering on the amplitude of the N170 ERP component when participants are shown images of faces and objects. Our findings show that with face stimuli the amplitude of N170 exhibits a band-pass modulation function, with responses to middle SFs (around 11 cycles per face) being statistically indistinguishable from responses to full-band faces. In contrast to faces, object stimuli elicited a relatively flat function across much of the spectrum. However, for both faces and objects, middle spatial frequencies were sufficient to elicit the same N170 magnitude as full-band images. Our results with face stimuli are in accordance with previous work examining single-cell and MEG responses. Our results with objects are compatible with previous behavioural work showing a relative robustness of object recognition to SF manipulations. Our findings are novel in showing that the middle band elicits the same N170 as full-band images in both faces and objects.
Keywords: face recognition, object recognition, spatial frequency, ERP, N170, configural processing
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