Brain potential correlates of face recognition: Geometric distortions and the N250r brain response to stimulus repetitions

Markus Bindemann, A. Mike Burton, Hartmut Leuthold, Stefan R. Schweinberger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Citations (Scopus)


The N250r is an event-related potential that has been related to activation of image-independent representations of familiar faces during recognition. However, N250r also shows a degree of image specificity, with reduced activation across repetitions of different images of the same face compared to repetitions across the same image, suggesting a component that codes the visual overlap between two face images. This study investigated whether N250r is equally attenuated when horizontally or vertically stretched faces prime an unstretched image of the same face. The results confirm that N250r is larger across repetitions of the same face image than across different images of the same face. Despite this, N250r was equivalent for priming by the same face image and priming from stretched onto unstretched faces. This finding demonstrates that N250r does not simply reflect the superficial visual overlap between two face images and supports the notion that it is related to person recognition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)535-544
Number of pages10
Issue number4
Early online date22 May 2008
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2008


  • ERPs
  • N250r
  • face recognition
  • geometric distortions
  • stretched faces
  • priming
  • repetition
  • event-related potentials
  • unfamiliar faces
  • name recognitino
  • familiar faces
  • neural system
  • matching task
  • perception
  • identification
  • memory
  • distributions

Cite this