PLoS ONE 5(10), e13366.

Neural correlates of face and object perception in an awake chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) examined by scalp-surface event-related potentials.

Hirokata Fukushima, Satoshi Hirata, Ari Ueno, Goh Matsuda, Kohki Fuwa, Keiko Sugama, Kiyo Kusunoki, Masahiro Hirai, Kazuo Hiraki, Masaki Tomonaga, Toshikazu Hasegawa

Abstract
Background: The neural system of our closest living relative, the chimpanzee, is a topic of increasing research interest. However, electrophysiological examinations of neural activity during visual processing in awake chimpanzees are currently lacking.
Methodology/Principal Findings: In the present report, skin-surface event-related brain potentials (ERPs) were measured while a fully awake chimpanzee observed photographs of faces and objects in two experiments. In Experiment 1, human faces and stimuli composed of scrambled face images were displayed. In Experiment 2, three types of pictures (faces, flowers, and cars) were presented. The waveforms evoked by face stimuli were distinguished from other stimulus types, as reflected by an enhanced early positivity appearing before 200 ms post stimulus, and an enhanced late negativity after 200 ms, around posterior and occipito-temporal sites. Face-sensitive activity was clearly observed in both experiments. However, in contrast to the robustly observed face-evoked N170 component in humans, we found that faces did not elicit a peak in the latency range of 150-200 ms in either experiment.
Conclusions/Significance: Although this pilot study examined a single subject and requires further examination, the observed scalp voltage patterns suggest that selective processing of faces in the chimpanzee brain can be detected by recording surface ERPs. In addition, this non-invasive method for examining an awake chimpanzee can be used to extend our knowledge of the characteristics of visual cognition in other primate species.

Fukushima H, Hirata S, Ueno A, Matsuda G, Fuwa K, Sugama K, Kusunoki K, Hirai M, Hiraki K, Tomonaga M, Hasegawa T (2010) Neural correlates of face and object perception in an awake chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) examined by scalp-surface event-related potentials. PLoS ONE 5(10), e13366.