Social emotional information influences self-processing in everyday activities, but few researchers have investigated this process. The current ERP study adopted a prime paradigm to investigate how socially threatening faces impact on the self-face processing advantage. After being primed with emotional faces (happy, angry or neutral), participants judged whether the target face (self, friend, and stranger) was familiar or unfamiliar. Results showed an interaction effect between the prime face and the target face at posterior P3, suggesting that after priming with happy and neutral faces, self-faces elicited larger P3 amplitudes than friend-faces and stranger-faces; however, after priming with angry faces, the P3 amplitudes were not significantly different between self-face and friend-face. Moreover, the P3 amplitudes of self-faces did not differ between priming with angry and neutral faces; however, the P3 amplitude of both friend-faces and stranger-faces showed enhanced responses after priming with angry faces compared to priming with neutral faces. We suggest that the self-face processing advantage (self vs. friend) could be weakened by priming with threatening faces, through enhancement of the other-faces processing rather than suppression of self-faces processing in angry vs. neutral face prime.
- Self-face advantage
- Emotional face prime
- Event-related potentials (ERP)