Rapid neural representations of personally relevant faces

Mareike Bayer, Oksana Berhe, Isabel Dziobek, Tom Johnstone

Aug 21, 2019

Received Date: 12th August 19

The faces of those most personally relevant to us are our primary source of social information, making their timely perception a priority. Recent research indicates that gender, age and identity of faces can be decoded from EEG/MEG data within 100ms. Yet the time course and neural circuitry involved in detecting personal relevance of faces remain unknown. We applied representational similarity analyses and simultaneous EEG-fMRI to examine neural responses to emotional faces of participants’ romantic partners, friends, and a stranger. EEG-fMRI representations of personal relevance started prior to structural encoding at 100ms in visual cortex, but also in prefrontal and midline regions involved in value representation, and monitoring and recall of self- relevant information. Representations specifically related to romantic love emerged after 400ms. Our results suggest that models of face perception need to be updated to account for rapid detection of personal relevance in cortical circuitry beyond the core face processing network.

Read in full at bioRxiv.

This is an abstract of a preprint hosted on an independent third party site. It has not been peer reviewed but is currently under consideration at Nature Communications.

Nature Communications

Nature Research, Springer Nature