ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2014, Vol. 22 ›› Issue (10): 1556-1563.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2014.01556

• Regular Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

The ERPs for the Facial Expression Processing

XIA Mu1; LI Xueliu2; YE Chun3; LI Hong3   

  1. (1 Southwest University Faculty of Psychology, Chongqing 400715, China) (2 Guangxi Teachers Education University Sports institute, Nanning 530023, China) (3 College of Psychology Liaoning Normal University, Dalian 116029, China)
  • Received:2013-10-16 Online:2014-10-15 Published:2014-10-15
  • Contact: LI Hong, E-mail:


The ERP components related to facial expression processing include P1 (80~120 ms), N170 (120~200 ms), EPN (Early Posterior Negativity, 200~300 ms) and LPP (Late Positive Potential, after 300 ms). These components represent different stage of facial expression process and thus have different mental meaning. P1 is sensitive to threaten-related face, such as fear, disgust and anger, reflects a quick and automatic detection to threatened stimuli. N170 implicates the automatic process to code the structure of expression. EPN reflects the selective attention to emotion information. This competent is also automatic in some conditions and can be modulated by emotional expression of different kinds and emotional scene. LPP that is affected by attention control represents the higher cognitive process. Future research should extend the understanding of these ERP components by exploring: (1) Whether P1 is affected by the extent of threat. (2) The impact of top-down factors on N170. (3) Whether the facial expression stimulus that can elicit EPN, but not N170 be treated as general emotional stimulus. (4) Whether the LPP also reflects certain level of automaticity. (5) Whether processing different type of expression (e.g. fear and disgust) is dissociative in ERPs?

Key words: facial expression process, P1, N170, EPN, LPP