Nudging the N170 forward with prior stimulation—Bridging the gap between N170 and recognition potential

Canhuang Luo, Wei Chen, Rufin VanRullen, Ye Zhang, Carl Michael Gaspar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Evoked response potentials are often divided up into numerous components, each with their own body of literature. But is there less variety than we might suppose? In this study, we nudge one component into looking like another. Both the N170 and recognition potential (RP) are N1 components in response to familiar objects. However, the RP is often measured with a forward mask that ends at stimulus onset whereas the N170 is often measured with no masking at all. This study investigates how inter-stimulus interval (ISI) may delay and distort the N170 into an RP by manipulating the temporal gap (ISI) between forward mask and target. The results revealed reverse relationships between the ISI on the one hand, and the N170 latency, single-trial N1 jitter (an approximation of N1 width) and reaction time on the other hand. Importantly, we find that scalp topographies have a unique signature at the N1 peak across all conditions, from the longest gap (N170) to the shortest (RP). These findings prove that the mask-delayed N1 is still the same N170, even under conditions that are normally associated with a different component like the RP. In general, our results suggest greater synthesis in the study of event related potential components.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)1214-1230
Number of pages17
JournalHuman Brain Mapping
Issue number4
StatePublished - Mar 2022


  • Chinese characters
  • ERP
  • N170
  • object recognition
  • recognition potential
  • visual masking


Dive into the research topics of 'Nudging the N170 forward with prior stimulation—Bridging the gap between N170 and recognition potential'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this