Gender differences in preattentive processing of facial expressions: an ERP study.

Brain topography

PubMedID: 23371479

Xu Q, Yang Y, Wang P, Sun G, Zhao L. Gender differences in preattentive processing of facial expressions: an ERP study. Brain Topogr. 2013;26(3):488-500.
To investigate gender differences in pre-attentive processing of facial expressions we recorded the expression mismatch negativity (EMMN) in the deviant-standard-reverse oddball paradigm. For female participants, sad faces elicited larger EMMN than happy faces, but this difference disappeared in the left hemisphere. For male participants, EMMN was not modulated by facial expressions, regardless of in the left or right hemispheres. While the source analysis indicated that for both genders prefrontal activations were observed for sad EMMN, more sources were involved for male than female participants. For happy EMMN, the current sources were located in the occipital lobe and parietal lobe for females and the temporal lobe and the frontal lobe for males. The present findings emphasized the importance of considering gender as a factor in the study of the pre-attentive processing of facial expressions.