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Synchronized network activity as the origin of a P300 component in a facial attractiveness judgment task

Authors

  • Yuan Zhang,

    1. Center for Brain and Cognitive Sciences and Department of Psychology, Peking University, Beijing, China
    2. Department of Psychology and Department of Neuroscience, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA
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  • Akaysha C. Tang,

    1. Department of Psychology and Department of Neuroscience, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA
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  • Xiaolin Zhou

    Corresponding author
    1. Center for Brain and Cognitive Sciences and Department of Psychology, Peking University, Beijing, China
    2. Key Laboratory of Machine Perception (Ministry of Education), Peking University, Beijing, China
    3. PKU-IDG/McGovern Institute for Brain Research, Peking University, Beijing, China
    • Address correspondence to: Xiaolin Zhou, PhD, Department of Psychology, Peking University, Beijing, 100871, China. E-mail: xz104@pku.edu.cn

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  • This study was supported by the National Basic Research Program (973 Program: 2010CB833904) from the Ministry of Science and Technology of China and by grants from the Natural Science Foundation of China (30110972, 91232708). Miss Yuan Zhang was also supported by a Chinese Council Scholarship. We thank two anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments and suggestions concerning an earlier version of the manuscript.

Abstract

Many studies have used the P300 as an index for cognitive processing and neurological/psychiatric disorders. Here, we combined the source separation and source localization methods to investigate the cortical origins of the P300 elicited in a facial attractiveness judgment task. For each participant, we applied second-order blind identification (SOBI) to continuous EEG data to decompose the mixture of brain signals and noise. We then used the equivalent current dipole (ECD) models to estimate the centrality of the SOBI-recovered P300. We found that the ECD models, consisting of dipoles in the frontal and posterior association cortices, account for 96.5 ± 0.5% of variance in the scalp projection of the component. Given that the recovered dipole activities in different brain regions share the same time course with different weights, we conclude that the P300 originates from synchronized activity between anterior and posterior parts of the brain.

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