Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Event-Related Potential to Conscious and Nonconscious Emotional Face Perception in Females with Autistic-Like Traits

Version 1 : Received: 20 June 2020 / Approved: 21 June 2020 / Online: 21 June 2020 (14:04:53 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

De Pascalis, V.; Cirillo, G.; Vecchio, A.; Ciorciari, J. Event-Related Potential to Conscious and Nonconscious Emotional Face Perception in Females with Autistic-Like Traits. J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9, 2306. De Pascalis, V.; Cirillo, G.; Vecchio, A.; Ciorciari, J. Event-Related Potential to Conscious and Nonconscious Emotional Face Perception in Females with Autistic-Like Traits. J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9, 2306.

Journal reference: J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9, 2306
DOI: 10.3390/jcm9072306

Abstract

This study explored the electrocortical correlates of conscious and nonconscious perceptions of emotionally laden faces in neurotypical adult women with varying levels of autistic-like traits (Autism Spectrum Quotient - AQ). Event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded during the viewing of backward-masked images for happy, neutral, and sad faces presented either below (16 ms - subliminal) or above the level of visual conscious awareness (167 ms - supraliminal). Sad compared to happy faces elicited larger frontal-central N1, N2, and occipital P3 waves. We observed larger N1 amplitudes to sad faces than to happy and neutral faces in High-AQ (but not Low-AQ) scorers. Additionally, High-AQ scorers had a relatively larger P3 at the occipital region to sad faces. Regardless of the AQ score, subliminal perceived emotional faces elicited shorter N1, N2, and P3 latencies than supraliminal faces. Happy and sad faces had shorter N170 latency in the supraliminal than subliminal condition. High-AQ participants had a longer N1 latency over the occipital region than Low-AQ ones. In Low-AQ individuals (but not in High-AQ ones), emotional recognition with female faces produced a longer N170 latency than with male faces. N4 latency was shorter to female faces than male faces. These findings are discussed in view of their clinical implications and extension to autism.

Subject Areas

ERPs; Autism Spectrum Quotient; face perception; emotion

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