Social and emotional relevance in face processing : happy faces of future interaction partners enhance the late positive potential

Bublatzky, Florian ; Gerdes, Antje B. M. ; White, Andrew J. ; Riemer, Martin ; Alpers, Georg W.

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URN: urn:nbn:de:bsz:180-madoc-375798
Document Type: Article
Year of publication: 2014
The title of a journal, publication series: Frontiers in Human Neuroscience
Volume: 8
Issue number: Article Nr. 493
Page range: 1-10
Place of publication: Lausanne
Publishing house: Frontiers Research Foundation
ISSN: 1662-5161
Publication language: English
Institution: School of Social Sciences > Klinische u. Biologische Psychologie u. Psychotherapie (Alpers 2010-)
Außerfakultäre Einrichtungen > Graduate School of Economic and Social Sciences- CDSS (Social Sciences)
Pre-existing license: Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0)
Subject: 150 Psychology
Abstract: Human face perception is modulated by both emotional valence and social relevance, but their interaction has rarely been examined. Event-related brain potentials (ERP) to happy, neutral, and angry facial expressions with different degrees of social relevance were recorded. To implement a social anticipation task, relevance was manipulated by presenting faces of two specific actors as future interaction partners (socially relevant), whereas two other face actors remained non-relevant. In a further control task all stimuli were presented without specific relevance instructions (passive viewing). Face stimuli of four actors (2 women, from the KDEF) were randomly presented for 1s to 26 participants (16 female). Results showed an augmented N170, early posterior negativity (EPN), and late positive potential (LPP) for emotional in contrast to neutral facial expressions. Of particular interest, face processing varied as a function of experimental tasks. Whereas task effects were observed for P1 and EPN regardless of instructed relevance, LPP amplitudes were modulated by emotional facial expression and relevance manipulation. The LPP was specifically enhanced for happy facial expressions of the anticipated future interaction partners. This underscores that social relevance can impact face processing already at an early stage of visual processing. These findings are discussed within the framework of motivated attention and face processing theories.
Additional information: Online-Ressource

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