The deceptively simple N170 reflects network information processing mechanisms involving visual feature coding and transfer across hemispheres

Ince, R. A.A. , Jaworska, K. , Gross, J. , Panzeri, S., Van Rijsbergen, N. J. , Rousselet, G. A. and Schyns, P. G. (2016) The deceptively simple N170 reflects network information processing mechanisms involving visual feature coding and transfer across hemispheres. Cerebral Cortex, 26(11), pp. 4123-4135. (doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhw196) (PMID:27550865) (PMCID:PMC5066825)

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A key to understanding visual cognition is to determine where, when and how brain responses reflect the processing of the specific visual features that modulate categorization behavior - the what. The N170 is the earliest Event-Related Potential (ERP) that preferentially responds to faces. Here, we demonstrate that a paradigmatic shift is necessary to interpret the N170 as the product of an information processing network that dynamically codes and transfers face features across hemispheres, rather than as a local stimulus-driven event. Reverse-correlation methods coupled with information-theoretic analyses revealed that visibility of the eyes influences face detection behavior. The N170 initially reflects coding of the behaviorally relevant eye contra-lateral to the sensor, followed by a causal communication of the other eye from the other hemisphere. These findings demonstrate that the deceptively simple N170 ERP hides a complex network information processing mechanism involving initial coding and subsequent cross-hemispheric transfer of visual features.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Jaworska, Miss Katarzyna and Rousselet, Dr Guillaume and Van Rijsbergen, Dr Nicola and Panzeri, Professor Stefano and Ince, Dr Robin and Gross, Professor Joachim and Schyns, Professor Philippe
Authors: Ince, R. A.A., Jaworska, K., Gross, J., Panzeri, S., Van Rijsbergen, N. J., Rousselet, G. A., and Schyns, P. G.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Psychology & Neuroscience
Journal Name:Cerebral Cortex
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN (Online):1460-2199
Published Online:22 August 2016
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2016 The Authors
First Published:First published in Cerebral Cortex 26(11):4123-4135
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
597051Natural and modulated neural communication: State-dependent decoding and driving of human Brain Oscillations.Joachim GrossWellcome Trust (WELLCOME)098433/Z/12/ZINP - CENTRE FOR COGNITIVE NEUROIMAGING
698281Brain Algorithmics: Reverse Engineering Dynamic Information Processing Networks from MEG time seriesPhilippe SchynsWellcome Trust (WELLCOME)107802/Z/15/ZINP - CENTRE FOR COGNITIVE NEUROIMAGING
591881Understanding age-related changes in processing facial emotionPhilippe SchynsBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)BB/J018929/1INP - CENTRE FOR COGNITIVE NEUROIMAGING
607901VISUALISEStefano PanzeriEuropean Commission (EC)600954RI NEUROSCIENCE & PSYCHOLOGY