abstract Bruno Rossion

Bruno Rossion (University of Louvain, Belgium)

Understanding face perception with fast periodic visual stimulation

When the human brain is stimulated at a rapid periodic frequency rate, it synchronizes its activity exactly to this frequency, leading to periodic responses recorded by the electroencephalogram (EEG). In vision, periodic stimulation has been used essentially to investigate low-level processes and attention, and has been recently extended to high-level visual processes, in particular face perception (Rossion & Boremanse, 2011). In this presentation, I will summarize a series of recent studies illustrating the strengths of this approach: the objective (i.e., exactly at the experimentally-defined frequency rate) definition of neural activity related to face perception, the very high signal-to-noise ratio, the independence from explicit behavioral responses, and the identification of perceptual integration markers. Overall, fast periodic visual stimulation is a highly promising tool to study the sensitivity to visual features of individual faces and their integration, in particular for human populations presenting a lower sensitivity of their brain responses and the need for rapid and objective assessment without behavioral requirements (e.g., infants and children, clinical populations).