Hand response differences in a self-face identification task

Neuropsychologia. 2000;38(7):1047-53. doi: 10.1016/s0028-3932(99)00145-1.


Evidence has indicated that the right frontal cortex is preferentially involved in self-face recognition. To test this further, we employed a face identification task and examined hand response differences (N=10). Pictures of famous faces were combined with pictures of the participants' faces (self) and their co-workers' faces (familiar). These images were presented as a 'movie' in which one face transformed into another. Under the first instruction set, the movies began with either the participant's face or a co-worker's face, and the sequences gradually morphed into a famous face. When told to stop the movie when the face in the sequence became famous, a significantly later 'frame' was identified when the movies were composed of self-faces and the participants responded with their left hand. When the movies started with the famous faces and participants had to stop the movie when it became their own or their familiar co-worker's image (Instruction set 2), a significantly earlier frame was identified in the 'Self: Left hand' condition. The data suggest that participants are inclined to identify images as their own when the right hemisphere is preferentially accessed.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cognition / physiology*
  • Computer Graphics
  • Face*
  • Female
  • Functional Laterality / physiology*
  • Hand / physiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Self Concept*