Face-selective responses in combined EEG/MEG recordings with fast periodic visual stimulation (FPVS).


Fast periodic visual stimulation (FPVS) allows the recording of objective brain responses of human face categorization (i.e., generalizable face-selective responses) with high signal-to-noise ratio. This approach has been successfully employed in a number of scalp electroencephalography (EEG) studies but has not been used with magnetoencephalography (MEG) yet, let alone with combined MEG/EEG recordings and distributed source estimation. Here, we presented various natural images of faces periodically (1.2 Hz) among natural images of objects (base frequency 6 Hz) whilst recording simultaneous EEG and MEG in 15 participants. Both measurement modalities showed face-selective responses at 1.2 Hz and harmonics across participants, with high and comparable signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) in about 3 min of stimulation. The correlation of face categorization responses between EEG and two MEG sensor types was lower than between the two MEG sensor types, indicating that the two sensor modalities provide independent information about the sources of face-selective responses. Face-selective EEG responses were right-lateralized as reported previously, and were numerically but non-significantly right-lateralized in MEG data. Distributed source estimation based on combined EEG/MEG signals confirmed a more bilateral face-selective response in visual brain regions located anteriorly to the common response to all stimuli at 6 Hz and harmonics. Conventional sensor and source space analyses of evoked responses in the time domain further corroborated this result. Our results demonstrate that FPVS in combination with simultaneously recorded EEG and MEG may serve as an efficient localizer paradigm for human face categorization.