Article: article from journal or magazin.
How multiple repetitions influence the processing of self-, famous and unknown names and faces: an ERP study.
International Journal of Psychophysiology
Because we live in an extremely complex social environment, people require the ability to memorize hundreds or thousands of social stimuli. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of multiple repetitions on the processing of names and faces varying in terms of pre-experimental familiarity. We measured both behavioral and electrophysiological responses to self-, famous and unknown names and faces in three phases of the experiment (in every phase, each type of stimuli was repeated a pre-determined number of times). We found that the negative brain potential in posterior scalp sites observed approximately 170 ms after the stimulus onset (N170) was insensitive to pre-experimental familiarity but showed slight enhancement with each repetition. The negative wave in the inferior-temporal regions observed at approximately 250 ms (N250) was affected by both pre-experimental (famous>unknown) and intra-experimental familiarity (the more repetitions, the larger N250). In addition, N170 and N250 for names were larger in the left inferior-temporal region, whereas right-hemispheric or bilateral patterns of activity for faces were observed. The subsequent presentations of famous and unknown names and faces were also associated with higher amplitudes of the positive waveform in the central-parietal sites analyzed in the 320-900 ms time-window (P300). In contrast, P300 remained unchanged after the subsequent presentations of self-name and self-face. Moreover, the P300 for unknown faces grew more quickly than for unknown names. The latter suggests that the process of learning faces is more effective than learning names, possibly because faces carry more semantic information.
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