Miller, R, Stewart, L & Martin, F 2020, 'An event-related potential investigation of age and sex in face categorization: Participant sex matters.', Social Neuroscience, pp. 1-12.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Whether a face is categorized as male or female is influenced by the age of the face. In the present study, Event-Related Potential (ERP) measures were employed to offer insight into the neural correlates indexing the interaction between the age and sex of a face during sex categorization. Thirty-eight young adults (18 male) categorized the sex of young (18-29 years) and older (70-94 years) adult faces as ERP activity was recorded. Amplitude modulation for the P3b was observed in parietal regions. Younger female faces elicited more positive P3b amplitudes than older female faces, a difference that did not occur for male faces. Behavioral performance and P3b modulation also indicated these effects varied between male and female participants. Women responded more slowly and with less accuracy to older female faces compared to male and young female faces, a pattern of results mirrored by P3b latency. These findings indicate that later-occurring ERP components, such as the P3b, signal the intersection of multiple social categories during face processing suggesting that the evaluation of ingroup/outgroup membership related to age is enhanced for young women, but not for young men.