PSYCH  Vol.1 No.3 , August 2010
Tolerance of the ERP Signatures of Unfamiliar versus Familiar Face Perception to Spatial Quantization of Facial Images
ABSTRACT
Processing of faces as stimuli is known to be associated with a conspicuous ERP component N170. Processing of fa-miliar faces is found to be associated with an increased amplitude of the ERP components N250r and P300, including when a subject wishes to conceal face familiarity. Leaving facial images without high spatial frequency content by low pass spatial filtering does not eliminate face-perception signatures of ERP. Here, for the first time, we tested whether these facial-processing ERP-signatures can be recorded also when facial images are spatially quantized by pixelation, a procedure where in addition to impoverishment of face-specific information by spatial-frequency filtering a competing masking structure is generated by the square-shaped pixels. We found dependence of N170 expression on level of pixelation and P300 amplitudes dependent on familiarity with 21 pixels-per-face and 11 pixels-per-face images, but not with 6 pixels-per-face images. ERP signatures of facial information processing tolerate image degradation by spatial quantization down to about 11 pixels per face and this holds despite the subject’s wish to conceal his or her familiarity with some of the faces.

Cite this paper
Hanso, L. , Bachmann, T. & Murd, C. (2010). Tolerance of the ERP Signatures of Unfamiliar versus Familiar Face Perception to Spatial Quantization of Facial Images. Psychology, 1, 199-208. doi: 10.4236/psych.2010.13027.
References
[1]   V. Bruce and A. Young, “In the Eye of the Beholder: The Science of Face Perception,” Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1998.

[2]   A. M. Burton, S. Wilson, M. Cowan and V. Bruce, “Face Recognition in Poor-Quality Video,” Psychological Sci- ence, Vol. 10, No. 3, 1999, pp. 243-248.

[3]   T. A. Busey and G. R. Loftus, “Cognitive Science and the Law,” Trends in Cognitive Sciences, Vol. 11, No. 3, 2007, pp. 111-117.

[4]   C. G. Gross, “Processing the Facial Image: A Brief His- tory,” American Psychologist, Vol. 60, No. 8, 2005, pp. 755-763.

[5]   S. Z. Li and A. K. Jain, “Handbook of Face Recognition,” Springer-Verlag, Berlin, 2005.

[6]   D. Maurer, R. Le Grand and C. J. Mondloch, “The Many Faces of Configural Processing,” Trends in Cognitive Sci- ences, Vol. 6, No. 6, 2002, pp. 255-260.

[7]   C. Peacock, A. Goode and A. Brett, “Automatic Forensic Face Recognition from Digital Images,” Science and Jus- tice, Vol. 44, No. 1, 2004, pp. 29-34.

[8]   P. Quintiliano and A. Rosa, “Face Recognition Applied to Computer Forensics,” International Journal of Forensic Computer Science, Vol. 1, 2006, pp. 19-27.

[9]   S. S. Rakover and B. Cahlon, “Face Recognition: Cogni- tive and Computational Processes,” John Benjamins Pub- lishing, Amsterdam, 2001.

[10]   A. Schwaninger, C. Wallraven, D. W. Cunningham and S. D. Chiller-Glaus, “Processing of Facial Identity and Ex- pression: A Psychophysical, Physiological and Computa- tional Perspective,” Progress in Brain Research, Vol. 156, 2006, pp. 321-343.

[11]   P. Sinha, “Recognizing Complex Patterns,” Nature Neuro- science Supplement, Vol. 5, 2002, pp. 1093-1097.

[12]   M.-H. Yang, D. J. Kriegman and N. Ahuja, “Detecting Faces in Images: A Survey,” IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence, Vol. 24, No. 1, 2002, pp. 34-58.

[13]   T. H. Allison, G. Ginter, A. C. McCarthy, A. Nobre, M. Puce, D. Luby and D. D. Spencer, “Face Recognition in Human Extrastriate Cortex,” Journal of Neurophysiology, Vol. 71, No. 2, 1994, pp. 821-825.

[14]   S. G. Boehm and W. Sommer, “Neural Correlates of In- tentional and Incidental Recognition of Famous Faces,” Cognitive Brain Research, Vol. 23, No. 2-3, 2005, pp. 153- 163.

[15]   M. Eimer and R. A. McCarthy, “Prosopagnosia and Struc- tural Encoding of Faces: Evidence from Event-Related Potentials,” NeuroReport, Vol. 10, No. 2, 1999, pp. 255- 259.

[16]   M. Eimer, “Event-Realted Brain Potentials Distinguish Processing Stages Involved in Face Perception and Rec- ognition,” Clinical Neuropysiology, Vol. 111, No. 4, 2000, pp. 694-705.

[17]   A. Holmes, J. S. Winston and M. Eimer, “The Role of Spatial Frequency Information for ERP Components Sen- sitive to Faces and Emotional Facial Expression,” Cogni- tive Brain Research, Vol. 25, No. 2, 2005, pp. 508-520.

[18]   S. R. Schweinberger, E. C. Pickering, I. Jentzsch, A. M. Burton and J. M. Kaufmann, “Event Related Potential Evidence for a Response of Interior Temporal Cortex to Familiar Face Repetitions,” Cognitive Brain Research, Vol. 14, 2002, pp. 398-409.

[19]   S. Bentin, T. Allison, A. Puce, E. Perez and G. McCarthy, “Electrophysiological Studies of Face Perception in Hu- mans,” Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, Vol. 8, No. 6, 1996, pp. 551-565.

[20]   V. Goffaux, I. Gauthier and B. Rossion, “Spatial Scale Contribution to Early Visual Differences between Face and Object Processing,” Cognitive Brain Research, Vol. 16, No. 3, 2003, pp. 416-424.

[21]   V. Goffaux, B. Jemel, C. Jacques, B. Rossion and P. G. Schyns, “ERP Evidence for Task Modulations on Face Perceptual Processing at Different Spatial Scales,” Cogni- tive Science, Vol. 27, No. 2, 2003, pp. 313-325.

[22]   B. Rossion, I. Gauthier, M. J. Tarr, P. A. Despland, R. Bruyer, S. Linotte and M. Crommelinck, “The N170 Oc- cipito-Temporal Component is Enhanced and Delayed to Inverted Faces but not to Inverted Objects: An Electro- physiological Account of Face-Specific Processes in the Human Brain,” Neuroreport, Vol. 11, No. 1, 2000, pp. 69-74.

[23]   G. A. Rousselet, M. J. Macé and M. Fabre-Thrope, “Ani- mal and Human Faces in Natural Scenes: How Specific to Human Faces is the N170 ERP Component?” Journal of Vision, Vol. 4, No. 1, 2004, pp. 13-21.

[24]   J. M. Kaufmann and S. R. Schweinberger, “Distortions in the Brain? ERP Effects of Caricaturing Familiar and Un- familiar Faces,” Brain Research, Vol. 1228, 2008, pp. 177-188.

[25]   S. Bentin and S. Y. Deouell, “Structural Encoding and Identification in Face Processing: ERP Evidence for Separate Mechanisms,” Cognitive Neuropsychology, Vol. 17, No. 1-3, 2000, pp. 35-54.

[26]   B. Rossion, S. Campanella, C. M. Gomez, A. Delinte, D. Debatisse, L. Liard, S. Dubois, R. Bruyer, M. Crom- melinck and J.-M. Guérit, “Task Modulation of Brain Ac- tivity Related to Familiar and Unfamiliar Face Processing: An ERP Study,” Clinical Neurophysiology, Vol. 110, No. 3, 1999, pp. 449-462.

[27]   M. Bindemann, A. M. Burton, H. Leuthold and S. R. Schweinberger, “Brain Potential Correlates of Face Rec- ognition: Geometric Distortions and the N250r Brain Re- sponse to Stimulus Repetitions,” Psychophysiology, Vol. 45, No. 4, 2008, pp. 535-544.

[28]   S. J. Luck, “An Introduction to the Event-Related Poten- tial Technique,” MIT Press, Cambridge, 2005.

[29]   J. Polich and J. R. Criado, “Neuropsychology and Neu-ropharmacology of P3a and P3b,” International Journal of Psychophysiology, Vol. 60, No. 2, 2006, pp. 172-185.

[30]   R. N. Henson, Y. Goshen-Gottstein, T. Ganel, L. J. Otten, A. Quayle and M. D. Rugg, “Electrophysiological and Haemodynamic Correlates of Face Perception, Recogni- tion and Priming,” Cerebral Cortex, Vol. 13, No. 7, 2003, pp. 793-805.

[31]   E. Mercure, F. Dick and M. H. Johnson, “Featural and Configural Face Processing Differentially Modulate ERP Components,” Brain Research, Vol. 1239, 2008, pp. 162- 170.

[32]   E. I. Olivares and J. Iglesias, “Brain Potentials and Inte- gration of External and Internal Features into Face Rep- resentations,” International Journal of Psychophysiology, Vol. 68, No. 1, 2008, pp. 59-69.

[33]   J. P. Rosenfeld, J. R. Biroschak and J. J. Furedy, “P300- Based Detection of Concealed Autobiographical versus In- cidentally Acquired Information in Target and Non-Tar- get Paradigms,” International Journal of Psychophysiol- ogy, Vol. 60, No. 3, 2006, pp. 251-259.

[34]   A. Ishai, C. F. Schmidt and P. Boesiger, “Face Perception is Mediated by a Distributed Cortical Network,” Brain Research Bulletin, Vol. 67, No. 1-2, 2005, pp. 87-93.

[35]   H. Halit, M. de Haan, P. G. Schyns and M. H. Johnson, “Is High-Spatial Frequency Information Used in the Early Stages of Face Detection?” Brain Research, Vol. 1117, No. 1, 2006, pp. 154-161.

[36]   A. V. Flevaris, L. C. Robertson and S. Bentin, “Using Spatial Frequency Scales for Processing Face Features and Face Configuration: An ERP Analysis,” Brain Re- search, Vol. 1194, 2008, pp. 100-109.

[37]   T. Nakashima, K. Kaneko, Y. Goto, T. Abe, T. Mitsudo, K. Ogata, A. Makinouchi and S. Tobimatsu, “Early ERP Components Differentially Extract Facial Features: Evi- dence for Spatial Frequency-and-Contrast Detectors,” Neu- roscience Research, Vol. 62, No. 4, 2008, pp. 225-235.

[38]   G. A. Rousselet, J. S. Husk, P. J. Bennett and A. B. Se- kuler, “Time Course and Robustness of ERP Object and Face Differences,” Journal of Vision, Vol. 8, No. 12, 2008, pp. 1-18.

[39]   T. Bachmann, “Identification of Spatially Quantised Tach- istoscopic Images of Faces: How Many Pixels does it Take to Carry Identity?” European Journal of Cognitive Psychology, Vol. 3, No. 1, 1991, pp. 87-103.

[40]   S. K. Bhatia, V. Lakshminarayanan, A. Samal and G. V. Welland, “Human Face Perception in Degraded Images,” Journal of Visual Communication and Image Represen- tation, Vol. 6, No. 3, 1995, pp. 280-295.

[41]   N. P. Costen, D. M. Parker and I. Craw, “Spatial Content and Spatial Quantisation Effects in Face Recognition,” Perception, Vol. 23, No. 2, 1994, pp. 129-146.

[42]   L. D. Harmon and B. Julesz, “Masking in Visual Reco- gnition: Effects of Two-Dimensional Filtered Noise,” Science, Vol. 180, No. 4091, 1973, pp. 1194-1197.

[43]   K. Lander, V. Bruce and H. Hill, “Evaluating the Effec- tiveness of Pixelation and Blurring on Masking the Iden- tity of Familiar Faces,” Applied Cognitive Psychology, Vol. 15, No. 1, 2001, pp. 101-116.

[44]   E. J. Ward, “Effects of Two-Dimensional Noise and Fea- ture Configuration on the Recognition of Faces in Capu- chin Monkeys (Cebus apella),” Biological Foundations of Behavior: 490 Honors Thesis, Franklin & Marshall Col- lege, Lancaster, 2007.

[45]   H. Fischer, C. I. Wright, P. J. Whalen, S. C. McInerney, L. M. Shin and S. L. Rauch, “Brain Habituation during Re- peated Exposure to Fearful and Neutral Faces: A Func- tional MRI Study,” Brain Research Bulletin, Vol. 59, No. 5, 2003, pp. 387-392.

[46]   A. Ishai, P. C. Bikle and L. G. Ungerleider, “Temporal Dynamics of Face Repetition Suppression,” Brain Re- search Bulletin, Vol. 70, No. 4-6, 2006, pp. 289-295.

 
 
Top