The ability to quickly detect changes in our surroundings has been crucial to human adaption and survival. In everyday life we often need to identify whether an object is new and if an object has changed its location. In the current event-related potential (ERP) study we investigated the electrophysiological correlates and the time course in detecting different types of changes of an object̀s location and identity. In a delayed match-to-sample task participants had to indicate whether two consecutive scenes containing a road, a house, and two objects, were either the same or different. In six randomly intermixed conditions the second scene was identical, one of the objects had changed its identity, one of the objects had changed its location, or the objects had switched locations. The results reveal different time courses for the processing of identity and location changes in spatial scenes. Whereas location changes elicited a posterior N2 effect, indicating early mismatch detection, followed by a P3 effect reflecting post-perceptual processing, identity changes elicited an anterior N3 effect, which was delayed and functionally distinct from the N2 effect found for the location changes. The condition in which two objects switched position elicited a late ERP effect, reflected by a P3 effect similar to that obtained for the location changes. In sum, this study is the first to cohesively show different time courses for the processing of location changes, identity changes, and object switches in spatial scenes, which manifest themselves in different electrophysiological correlates. © 2012 van Hoogmoed et al.
van Hoogmoed, A. H., van den Brink, D., & Janzen, G. (2012). Electrophysiological correlates of object location and object identity processing in spatial scenes. PLoS ONE, 7(7). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0041180