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    The cognitive and neural basis of developmental prosopagnosia

    Towler, John and Fisher, Katie and Eimer, Martin (2016) The cognitive and neural basis of developmental prosopagnosia. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology 70 (2), pp. 316-340. ISSN 1747-0218.

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    Developmental prosopagnosia (DP) is a severe impairment of visual face recognition in the absence of any apparent brain damage. The factors responsible for DP have not yet been fully identified. This article provides a selective review of recent studies investigating cognitive and neural processes that may contribute to the face recognition deficits in DP, focusing primarily on event-related brain potential (ERP) measures of face perception and recognition. Studies that measured the face-sensitive N170 component as a marker of perceptual face processing have shown that the perceptual discrimination between faces and non-face objects is intact in DP. Other N170 studies suggest that faces are not represented in the typical fashion in DP. Individuals with DP appear to have specific difficulties in processing spatial and contrast deviations from canonical upright visual-perceptual face templates. The rapid detection of emotional facial expressions appears to be unaffected in DP. ERP studies of the activation of visual memory for individual faces and of the explicit identification of particular individuals have revealed differences between DPs and controls in the timing of these processes and in the links between visual face memory and explicit face recognition. These observations suggest that the speed and efficiency of information propagation through the cortical face network is altered in DP. The nature of the perceptual impairments in DP suggests that atypical visual experience with the eye region of faces over development may be an important contributing factor to DP.


    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis Group, available online at the link above.
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Psychological Sciences
    Depositing User: Martin Eimer
    Date Deposited: 20 Apr 2016 16:00
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:22


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