Face and emotional expression processing and event-related potentials in a case study of impaired face perception

Lucy Troup, Stephanie Bastidas, Jason S. Nomi, Maia T. Nguyen, Tien Tong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aims: To evaluate face and emotional expression recognition in a single participant event related potential (ERP) case study.

Methods: We compared an individual with impaired face perception (participant G.O.) to 29 normal controls in behavioral tests of object, face and expression recognition and also recorded Event-Related Potentials (ERPs) in response to houses, faces and faces with emotional expressions.

Results: Participant G.O. performed normally on behavioral tests of object and emotional expression recognition but was significantly impaired in tests of face recognition. Unlike controls, G.O. did not show a difference in mean amplitude of P1 to houses compared to upright faces. Additionally, G.O. presented with a marked amplitude decrease in the temporal occipital N170 in response to faces compared to controls and a decrease in N170 and P300 amplitude in response to emotional expressions compared to controls. G.O. clearly showed a unique pattern of face and emotion recognition compared to control participants.

Conclusion: The behavioral deficits were not directly reflected in the ERP responses found for G.O. and controls. However, G.O. presented a distinctive pattern of scalp electrical activity for faces, both standard and with emotion. Thus highlighting the importance of using multiple measures in the examination of face perception deficits in individuals
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-17
JournalEdorium Journal of Psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Event related potentials
  • Face recognition impairment
  • Emotion


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