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The face-sensitive N170 component in developmental prosopagnosia

Towler, John and Gosling, Angela and Duchaine, B. and Eimer, Martin (2012) The face-sensitive N170 component in developmental prosopagnosia. Neuropsychologia 50 (14), pp. 3588-3599. ISSN 0028-3932.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2012....

Abstract

Individuals with developmental prosopagnosia (DP) show severe face recognition deficits in the absence of any history of neurological damage. To examine the time-course of face processing in DP, we measured the face-sensitive N170 component of the event-related brain potential (ERP) in a group of 16 participants with DP and 16 age-matched control participants. Reliable enhancements of N170 amplitudes in response to upright faces relative to houses were found for the DP group. This effect was equivalent in size to the effect observed for controls, demonstrating normal face-sensitivity of the N170 component in DP. Face inversion enhanced N170 amplitudes in the control group, but not for DPs, suggesting that many DPs do not differentiate between upright and inverted faces in the typical manner. These N170 face inversion effects were present for younger but not older controls, while they were absent for both younger and older DPs. Results suggest that the early face-sensitivity of visual processing is preserved in most individuals with DP, but that the face processing system in many DPs is not selectively tuned to the canonical upright orientation of faces.

Item Type: Article
Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Face processing, Face recognition, Face perception, Prosopagnosia, Event-related brain potentials, Visual cognition
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Science > Psychological Sciences
Depositing User: Administrator
Date Deposited: 08 Nov 2012 09:00
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2013 12:26
URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/5608

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