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    Holistic processing of facial identity in developmental prosopagnosia

    Tsantani, Maria and Gray, K. and Cook, Richard (2020) Holistic processing of facial identity in developmental prosopagnosia. Cortex 130 , pp. 318-326. ISSN 0010-9452.

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    The nature of the perceptual deficit seen in developmental prosopagnosia remains poorly understood. One possibility is that these individuals experience face recognition difficulties because they fail to process faces holistically; they may be less able to analyze distal regions in parallel and therefore struggle to integrate information from different regions into a unified perceptual whole. Consequently, developmental prosopagnosics may be forced to base perceptual decisions on a slow, effortful piecemeal analysis of local facial features. In the present study, we sought to test this view by comparing the face recognition of developmental prosopagnosics and typical observers under two viewing conditions: when target faces were briefly presented in their entirety, and when they were inspected region-byregion through a dynamic aperture. If developmental prosopagnosics are forced to base perceptual decisions on information accumulated from a serial piecemeal analysis, one would expect little if any decrement in performance when target faces are viewed through apertures. Contrary to this prediction, however, developmental prosopagnosics showed strong aperture effects comparable with typical observers; their perceptual decisions were more accurate in the whole-face condition than when targets were viewed through the aperture. As expected, the developmental prosopagnosics were less accurate than typical controls when judging briefly presented faces shown in their entirety. Strikingly, however, they were also less able to accumulate perceptual evidence from a serial region-by-region analysis, than typical observers. Our results suggest that the perceptual problems seen in this population arise from imprecise descriptions of local regions, not aberrant holistic processing.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Developmental prosopagnosia, holistic face processing, facial identity, famous face recognition, aperture viewing
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Psychological Sciences
    Depositing User: Richard Cook
    Date Deposited: 10 Aug 2020 10:20
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 18:01


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