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Neurosci Res. 2017 Feb;115:44-53. doi: 10.1016/j.neures.2016.10.002. Epub 2016 Oct 26.

Electrophysiological evidence for women superiority on unfamiliar face processing.

Author information

1
School of Psychology and Cognitive Science, East China Normal University, North Zhongshan Road 3663, Shanghai, SH 200062, China; School of Education Science, Xinyang Normal University, South Lake Road 237, Xinyang 464000, China.
2
School of Psychology and Cognitive Science, East China Normal University, North Zhongshan Road 3663, Shanghai, SH 200062, China.
3
School of Education Science, Xinyang Normal University, South Lake Road 237, Xinyang 464000, China.
4
School of Psychology and Cognitive Science, East China Normal University, North Zhongshan Road 3663, Shanghai, SH 200062, China. Electronic address: wdzhang@psy.ecnu.edu.cn.
5
Zhejiang Yuying Education Group, Gongshu District 111, Hangzhou 310005,China.
6
School of Psychology and Cognitive Science, East China Normal University, North Zhongshan Road 3663, Shanghai, SH 200062, China. Electronic address: wlkc_xyguo@126.com.

Abstract

Previous research has reported that women superiority on face recognition tasks, taking sex difference in accuracy rates as major evidence. By appropriately modifying experimental tasks and examining reaction time as behavioral measure, it was possible to explore which stage of face processing contributes to womens' superiority. We used a modified delayed matching-to-sample task to investigate the time course characteristics of face recognition by ERP, for both men and women. In each trial, participants matched successively presented faces to samples (target faces) by key pressing. It was revealed that women were more accurate and faster than men on the task. ERP results showed that compared to men, women had shorter peak latencies of early components P100 and N170, as well as larger mean amplitude of the late positive component P300. Correlations between P300 mean amplitudes and RTs were found for both sexes. Besides, reaction times of women but not men were positively correlated with N170 latencies. In general, we provided further evidence for women superiority on face recognition in both behavioral and neural aspects.

KEYWORDS:

Correlation; ERP; Face recognition; Sex difference; Superiority

PMID:
27794442
DOI:
10.1016/j.neures.2016.10.002
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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