Different neural processes accompany self-recognition in photographs across the lifespan: an ERP study using dizygotic twins

Butler, David L., Mattingley, Jason B., Cunnington, Ross and Suddendorf, Thomas (2013) Different neural processes accompany self-recognition in photographs across the lifespan: an ERP study using dizygotic twins. PLoS ONE, 8 9: e72586.1-e72586.9. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0072586


Author Butler, David L.
Mattingley, Jason B.
Cunnington, Ross
Suddendorf, Thomas
Title Different neural processes accompany self-recognition in photographs across the lifespan: an ERP study using dizygotic twins
Journal name PLoS ONE   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1932-6203
Publication date 2013-09-19
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0072586
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 8
Issue 9
Start page e72586.1
End page e72586.9
Total pages 9
Editor Manos Tsakiris
Place of publication San Francisco, CA, United States
Publisher Public Library of Science
Collection year 2014
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Our appearance changes over time, yet we can recognize ourselves in photographs from across the lifespan. Researchers have extensively studied self-recognition in photographs and have proposed that specific neural correlates are involved, but few studies have examined self-recognition using images from different periods of life. Here we compared ERP responses to photographs of participants when they were 5–15, 16–25, and 26–45 years old. We found marked differences between the responses to photographs from these time periods in terms of the neural markers generally assumed to reflect (i) the configural processing of faces (i.e., the N170), (ii) the matching of the currently perceived face to a representation already stored in memory (i.e., the P250), and (iii) the retrieval of information about the person being recognized (i.e., the N400). There was no uniform neural signature of visual self-recognition. To test whether there was anything specific to self-recognition in these brain responses, we also asked participants to identify photographs of their dizygotic twins taken from the same time periods. Critically, this allowed us to minimize the confounding effects of exposure, for it is likely that participants have been similarly exposed to each other's faces over the lifespan. The same pattern of neural response emerged with only one exception: the neural marker reflecting the retrieval of mnemonic information (N400) differed across the lifespan for self but not for twin. These results, as well as our novel approach using twins and photographs from across the lifespan, have wide-ranging consequences for the study of self-recognition and the nature of our personal identity through time.
Keyword Mnemonics
Electroencephalography
Face
Vision
Researchers
Twins
Face recognition
Cognition
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Queensland Brain Institute Publications
Official 2014 Collection
School of Psychology Publications
 
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 5 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 6 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Sat, 26 Oct 2013, 01:46:57 EST by Debra McMurtrie on behalf of School of Psychology