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Neurosci Lett. 2000 Jan 7;278(1-2):13-6.

Electrophysiological correlates of emotional and structural face processing in humans.

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Department of Psychiatry, University of Düsseldorf, Germany.


In order to study brain potentials related to decoding of facial expressions of emotions and those, related to basic perception of faces 16 right-handed subjects performed tasks on facial emotion recognition and perception of blurred faces and objects. Electroencephalograph (EEG) recordings during performance of the tasks revealed similar event-related potentials during the presentation of faces at 120 and 170 ms after stimulus onset in both of the tasks but significant differences in amplitudes between 180 and 300 ms. Whereas faces in the emotion recognition task produced high amplitudes in that latency range, potentials in response to faces in the blurred object condition were virtually absent. These data point to the assumption that decoding of facial expressions starts early in the brain and might be processed separately from basic stages of face perception.

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