Neural correlates of the eye dominance effect in human face perception: the left-visual-field superiority for faces revisited

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Abstract

Faces are processed best when they are presented in the left visual field (LVF), a phenomenon known as LVF superiority. Although one eye contributes more when perceiving faces, it is unclear how the dominant eye (DE), the eye we unconsciously use when performing a monocular task, affects face processing. Here, we examined the influence of the DE on the LVF superiority for faces using event-related potentials. Twenty left-eye-dominant (LDE group) and 23 right-eye-dominant (RDE group) participants performed the experiments. Face stimuli were randomly presented in the LVF or right visual field (RVF). The RDE group exhibited significantly larger N170 amplitudes compared to the LDE group. Faces presented in the LVF elicited N170 amplitudes that were significantly more negative in the RDE group than they were in the LDE group, whereas the amplitudes elicited by stimuli presented in the RVF were equivalent between the groups. The LVF superiority was maintained in the RDE group but not in the LDE group. Our results provide the first neural evidence of the DE’s effects on the LVF superiority for faces. We propose that the RDE may be more biologically specialized for face processing.

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