Explicit Face Memory Abilities are positively related to the
non-intentional Encoding of Faces: Behavioral and ERP Evidence.
Individual differences in face memory abilities have been shown to be
related to individual differences in brain activity. The present study
investigated brain-behavior relationships for the N250 component in
event-related brain potentials, which is taken as a neural sign of face
familiarity. We used a task in which a designated, typical target face
and several (high- and low-distinctive) nontarget faces had to be
distinguished during multiple presentations across a session.
Separately, face memory/recognition abilities were measured with easy
versus difficult tasks. We replicated an increase of the N250 amplitude
to the target face across the session and observed a similar increase
for the non-target faces, indicating the build-up of memory
representations also for these faces. On the interindividual level,
larger across-session N250 amplitude increases to low-distinctive
non-target faces were related to faster face recognition as measured in
an easy task. These findings extend the present knowledge about
brain-behavior relationships in face memory/recognition and indicate
that an advantage in non-intentional encoding of low-distinctive
non-target faces into memory goes along with the swift recognition of
explicitly learned faces.