Are faces special? A case of pure prosopagnosia

Riddoch, M. Jane and Johnston, Robert A. and Bracewell, R. Martyn and Boutsen, Luc and Humphreys, Glyn W. (2008) Are faces special? A case of pure prosopagnosia. Cognitive Neuropsychology, 25 (1). pp. 3-26. ISSN 0264-3294. (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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The ability to recognize individual faces is of crucial social importance for humans and evolutionarily necessary for survival. Consequently, faces may be "special" stimuli, for which we have developed unique modular perceptual and recognition processes. Some of the strongest evidence for face processing being modular comes from cases of prosopagnosia, where patients are unable to recognize faces whilst retaining the ability to recognize other objects. Here we present the case of an acquired prosopagnosic whose poor recognition was linked to a perceptual impairment in face processing. Despite this, she had intact object recognition, even at a subordinate level. She also showed a normal ability to learn and to generalize learning of nonfacial exemplars differing in the nature and arrangement of their parts, along with impaired learning and generalization of facial exemplars. The case provides evidence for modular perceptual processes for faces.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled keywords: prosopagnosia; modular processing; category specificity; configural processing
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: Maureen Cook
Date Deposited: 23 Feb 2010 15:05
Last Modified: 28 May 2014 15:27
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