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    The activation of visual face memory and explicit face recognition are delayed in developmental prosopagnosia

    Parketny, Joanna and Towler, John and Eimer, Martin (2015) The activation of visual face memory and explicit face recognition are delayed in developmental prosopagnosia. Neuropsychologia 75 , pp. 538-547. ISSN 0028-3932.

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    Individuals with developmental prosopagnosia (DP) are strongly impaired in recognizing faces, but the causes of this deficit are not well understood. We employed event-related brain potentials (ERPs) to study the time-course of neural processes involved in the recognition of previously unfamiliar faces in DPs and in age-matched control participants with normal face recognition abilities. Faces of different individuals were presented sequentially in one of three possible views, and participants had to detect a specific Target Face (“Joe”). EEG was recorded during task performance to Target Faces, Nontarget Faces, or the participants' Own Face (which had to be ignored). The N250 component was measured as a marker of the match between a seen face and a stored representation in visual face memory. The subsequent P600f was measured as an index of attentional processes associated with the conscious awareness and recognition of a particular face. Target Faces elicited reliable N250 and P600f in the DP group, but both of these components emerged later in DPs than in control participants. This shows that the activation of visual face memory for previously unknown learned faces and the subsequent attentional processing and conscious recognition of these faces are delayed in DP. N250 and P600f components to Own Faces did not differ between the two groups, indicating that the processing of long-term familiar faces is less affected in DP. However, P600f components to Own Faces were absent in two participants with DP who failed to recognize their Own Face during the experiment. These results provide new evidence that face recognition deficits in DP may be linked to a delayed activation of visual face memory and explicit identity recognition mechanisms.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Face processing, Face recognition, Prosopagnosia, Event-related brain potentials
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Psychological Sciences
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 22 Jul 2015 12:31
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:17


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