ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2019, Vol. 27 ›› Issue (suppl.): 141-141.

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Lateralization of behavioral oscillations in conscious and unconscious face processing

Mengjin Li, Bingbing Guo, Ling He, Shuai Chang, Ming Meng   

  1. Guangdong Key Laboratory of Mental Health and Cognitive Science, School of Psychology, South China Normal University, Guangzhou, China, 510631
  • Online:2019-08-26 Published:2022-03-21

Abstract: PURPOSE: Ample evidence supports that the right hemisphere is dominant in processing faces and therefore participants often have a left visual field advantage for face perception. However, the mechanism underlying the interhemispheric dynamic coordination in face processing, especially when the prime face was unconsciousness, remains poorly understood.
METHODS: By combining continuous flash suppression (CFS), visual priming and a time-resolved behavioral measurement, we investigate the visual field bias in face processing when the prime face was visible (conscious) and invisible (unconscious). In two experiments, a prime face or house at the center of the screen was presented visible or invisible to participants by using CFS. Subsequently, participants were asked to detect a congruent versus incongruent target that was presented at either right or left visual field. Moreover, we varied the prime-to-target SOA from 20 to 800ms in steps of 20ms to measure fine-scale temporal dynamics.
RESULTS: Behavioral oscillations were found in congruent versus incongruent conditions. Specifically, for detecting a face target, we found a right visual field bias at ~5 Hz for the visible prime condition and a left visual field bias at 6-8 Hz for the invisible prime condition. By contrast, no significant theta-band oscillations were found for detecting a house target in both visual fields.
CONCLUSIONS: These results support a general theta-band (3-8 Hz) temporal organization mechanism in face processing. The different theta-band oscillation effects suggest distinct neural mechanisms for interhemispheric dynamic coordination, depending on the visibility of the priming stimuli.

Key words: behavioral oscillation, face processing, priming, visual field bias, theta-band