Face-sensitive P1 and N170 components are related to the perception of two-dimensional and three-dimensional objects

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Abstract

Studies investigating event-related potentials have reported on face-sensitive P1 and N170 components, as well as object-related N170 components. Face-sensitive N170 is also sensitive to face inversion, which has been defined as the face-inversion effect. This study aimed to directly compare the relationship between face-sensitive N170 during face perception (upright and inverted faces) and object-related N170 during object perception (two-dimensional and three-dimensional objects). More specifically, the purpose was to clarify whether face-sensitive P1 and N170 components are related to the perception of two-dimensional and three-dimensional objects. Electroencephalography was performed in participants who were shown one of the four types of stimuli: upright faces, inverted faces, two-dimensional objects, or three-dimensional objects. The results revealed that the latency of P1 for three-dimensional objects was significantly longer than that for two-dimensional objects, the latency of N170 for three-dimensional objects was significantly longer than that for two-dimensional objects, and the latency of N170 for inverted faces was significantly longer than that for upright faces. These findings suggest that face-sensitive P1 and N170 components are related to the perception of two-dimensional and three-dimensional objects. Moreover, the results suggest that, similar to the face-inversion effect of face-sensitive N170 affected by mental rotation of the face, the object-related N170 of three-dimensional objects was affected by the mental rotation of two-dimensional objects. This suggests the novel possibility that face-sensitive P1 and N170 components can be used as an index for the perception of two-dimensional and three-dimensional objects.

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