Disctinct neural coding of other-race and own-race faces

[Speaker] Zhou, Yuqing:1,2
[Co-author] Luo, Siyang:3, Han, Shihui:1,2
1:Peking University (China (People's Republic of China)), 2:PKU-IDG/McGovern Institute for Brain Research (China (People's Republic of China)), 3:Sun Yat-sen University (China (People's Republic of China))

Previous event-related potential (ERP) studies have shown ample evidence for differential neural processing of own-race and other-race faces. However, these findings did not elucidate whether automatic neural coding of race occurs to both other-race and own-race faces. We recorded ERPs from Chinese adults when viewing Asian and Caucasian faces with neutral or pain expressions during a one-back recognition task. Asian (or Caucasian) faces were presented repetitively or alternatively with Caucasian (or Asian) faces in a block. We found that repetitive compared to alternative presentation of Caucasian faces decreased the amplitude of a frontal positivity at 160-200ms (P2) but increased the amplitude of an occipital-temporal negativity (N170). These effects, however, were not observed for Asian faces. Our findings suggest automatic neural coding of race of other-race but not own-race faces, which, however, may take place at the cost of individuated processing of other-race faces.
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