Cases reported "prosopagnosia"

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11/48. Selective sparing of face learning in a global amnesic patient.

    OBJECTIVE: To test the hypothesis that visual memory for faces can be dissociated from visual memory for topographical material. METHOD: A patient who developed a global amnesic syndrome after acute carbon monoxide poisoning is described. A neuroradiological examination documented severe bilateral atrophy of the hippocampi. RESULTS: Despite a severe anterograde memory disorder involving verbal information, abstract figures, concrete objects, topographical scenes, and spatial information, the patient was still able to learn previously unknown human faces at a normal (and, in some cases, at a higher) rate. CONCLUSIONS: Together with previous neuropsychological evidence documenting selective sparing of topographical learning in otherwise amnesic patients, this case is indicative of the fact that the neural circuits involved in face recognition are distinct from those involved in the recognition of other visuoperceptual material (for example, topographical scenes). ( info)

12/48. prosopagnosia: a case study involving problems in processing configural information.

    An ongoing issue in face recognition research is whether holistic face processing relies on the segregation of local discrete facial parts. Evidence in favor of the holistic-plus-parts view stems from a recent study reported by Arguin and Saumier (1999), who show that the priming effects of individual facial parts (i.e., eyes, nose, mouth, orcontour) depends on the presence of configural information and that the magnitude of priming augments as the number of facial parts serving as primes increase. The present study demonstrates that these global processing effects are absent in a prosopagnosic patient (A.R.), who shows no priming from single face parts and a linear increase in the magnitude of priming as a function of the number of parts presented. These findings indicate that A.R. is incapable of integrating individual facial parts into a global facial configuration ant that this is likely at the root of her prosopagnosia. ( info)

13/48. Lesions of the fusiform face area impair perception of facial configuration in prosopagnosia.

    BACKGROUND: prosopagnosia, the inability to recognize faces, is associated with medial occipitotemporal lesions, especially on the right. Functional imaging has revealed a focal region in the right fusiform gyrus activated specifically during face perception. OBJECTIVE: The study attempted to determine whether lesions of this region were associated with defects in face perception in patients with prosopagnosia. methods: Five patients with acquired prosopagnosia were tested. They were asked to discriminate faces in which the spatial configuration of features had been altered. This was contrasted with their discrimination of changes in feature color, an alteration that does not affect spatial relations. RESULTS: All four patients whose lesions included the right fusiform face area were severely impaired in discriminating changes in the spatial position of features. The one patient with anterior bilateral lesions was normal in this perceptual ability. For three of the five patients, accuracy was normal for changes in eye color. When subjects knew that only changes in mouth position would be shown, performance improved markedly in two of the four patients who were impaired in the initial test. CONCLUSION: perception of facial configuration is impaired in patients with prosopagnosia whose lesions involve the right fusiform gyrus. This deficit is especially manifest when attention must be distributed across numerous facial elements. It does not occur with more anterior bilateral temporal lesions. Loss of this ability may contribute to the recognition defect in some forms of prosopagnosia. ( info)

14/48. face context interferes with local part processing in a prosopagnosic patient.

    We investigated the role of local and global information on perceptual encoding of faces in patient HJA, who shows prosopagnosia and visual agnosia following occipito-temporal damage. HJA and an age-matched control were tested in a simultaneous matching task which focused on detection of local changes in faces: the inversion of central parts (eyes and mouth) relative to their context (as in the Thatcher illusion). Same-different judgements were made to normal, "that cherised" and mixed type face pairs. Whole faces (Experiment 1), or face parts (Experiment 2), were presented in upright and inverted orientations. Compared to the control, HJA was severely impaired at matching whole faces, but he improved dramatically when face parts were presented in isolation. This suggests an inhibitory influence of face context on HJAs processing of local parts and a relatively intact ability to process part-based information from a face (when context cannot interfere). face inversion did not affect HJAs performance. A control experiment (Experiment 3) with non-face stimuli (houses) suggested that the inhibitory influence of context on HJAs performance was restricted to faces. These results indicate that contextual information in a face can have an adverse influence on the processing of local part-based information in prosopagnosia. ( info)

15/48. prosopagnosia in a preschool child with asperger syndrome.

    We investigated a male, aged 4 years 11 months, who fulfilled the criteria of asperger syndrome). In addition to the typical pattern of autistic symptoms, psychological testing revealed prosopagnosia in tasks for face recognition and matching. prosopagnosia was also present when he tried to identify the faces of his parents and himself in photographs whenever these were presented with photographs of other persons. Although impairment in reciprocal social interaction in individuals with asperger syndrome is closely correlated to their impaired perceptional abilities in non-verbal communication, especially facial expression, overt prosopagnosia seems to be a rare neuropsychological symptom in persons with autistic disorders. ( info)

16/48. Less impairment in face imagery than face perception in early prosopagnosia.

    There have been a number of reports of preserved face imagery in prosopagnosia. We put this issue to experimental test by comparing the performance of MJH, a 34-year-old prosopagnosic since the age of 5, to controls on tasks where the participants had to judge faces of current celebrities, either in terms of overall similarity (Of Bette Midler, Hillary Clinton, and Diane Sawyer, whose face looks least like the other two?) or on individual features (Is Ronald Reagan's nose pointy?). For each task, a performance measure reflecting the degree of agreement of each participant with the average of the others (not including MJH) was calculated. On the imagery versions of these tasks, MJH was within the lower range of the controls for the agreement measure (though significantly below the mean of the controls). When the same tasks were performed from pictures, agreement among the controls markedly increased whereas MJH's performance was virtually unaffected, placing him well below the range of the controls. This pattern was also apparent with a test of facial features of emotion (Are the eyes wrinkled when someone is surprised?). On three non-face imagery tasks assessing color (What color is a football?), relative lengths of animal's tails (Is a bear's tail long in proportion to its body?), and mental size comparisons (What is bigger, a camel or a zebra?), MJH was within or close to the lower end of the normal range. As most of the celebrities became famous after the onset of MJH's prosopagnosia, our confirmation of the reports of less impaired face imagery in some prosopagnosics cannot be attributed to pre-lesion storage. We speculate that face recognition, in contrast to object recognition, relies more heavily on a representation that describes the initial spatial filter values so the metrics of the facial surface can be specified. If prosopagnosia is regarded as a form of simultanagnosia in which some of these filter values cannot be registered on any one encounter with a face, then multiple opportunities for repeated storage may partially compensate for the degraded representation on that single encounter. Imagery may allow access to this more complete representation. ( info)

17/48. Implicit face perception in a patient with visual agnosia? Evidence from behavioural and eye-tracking analyses.

    This paper investigates face perception in a visual agnosic and prosopagnosic patient (SB). Despite very extensive lesions of visual areas, SB remains capable of some visual processing [brain 125 (2002) 58]. However, in everyday situations SB does not exhibit signs of specific face recognition. To investigate how SB may process faces, we tested two hypotheses. According to the 'spared module hypothesis,' SBs abilities come from spared modules of implicit face processing. According to the 'general strategy hypothesis,' SB may have developed some deliberate compensatory strategies. A two-session experimental design was constructed. In both sessions, face and non-face pictures were shown to participants. In Session 1 (implicit condition), participants had to decide whether each picture was a vegetable. In Session 2 (explicit condition), participants had to decide whether each picture was a face. Verbal reports showed that SB was not aware of faces in Session 1. However, behavioural results showed that (1). SB could process faces; (2). even when SB was not aware of faces, he processed them differently than non-faces; (3). when knowing the presence of faces, he did not process faces better. In addition, eye-tracking data suggested that SB did not change the nature of his processing from Sessions 1 to 2. pupil diameters showed that fixated facial features were processed similarly as in control participants. Together, these results are not compatible with a general compensatory strategy hypothesis and suggest sparing of an implicit face processing module in SB. ( info)

18/48. Visual agnosia and prosopagnosia in childhood: a prospective case study.

    Selective impairments in visual processing are well documented in adults but rarely reported in children. The few childhood cases reported are mostly retrospective accounts with little attention paid to developmental, assessment or management issues. We report a prospective case study of a boy with prosopagnosia and visual processing deficits of presumed developmental origin. At the age of 4 years, AL presented with a range of cognitive and visual recognition deficits. Subsequent assessments revealed an evolving pattern in visual recognition and dissociations between developing skills. At the age of 7 AL has impairments in early perceptual analysis, visual organisation and in complex visual processing. Although he can identify facial features and match faces he is unable to recognise familiar faces. His reading and spelling are developing normally. The nature of his deficits and his progress are discussed within a cognitive neuropsychological framework. ( info)

19/48. Slowly progressive defect in recognition of familiar people in a patient with right anterior temporal atrophy.

    We report the case of a patient (C.O.) who showed a selective defect in the recognition of familiar people, with very mild disease progression during a period of 30 months resulting from focal atrophy of the right temporal lobe. On formal neuropsychological testing, C.O. obtained high scores on tests of general intelligence, episodic memory, language, executive functions, selective attention, visual recognition and visual-spatial abilities. On more specific tasks of familiar and unfamiliar face recognition, C.O. scored above the controls' means on perceptual tests, but obtained highly pathological results on amnesic-associative tests. His disorder of recognition of familiar people was not due to loss of person-specific information, since he obtained highly abnormal naming scores when presented with photographs of famous people but borderline or mildly abnormal scores in a tasks in which he had to name celebrities from verbal definitions. On the other hand, C.O.'s recognition disorder could not be considered to be a form of 'associative prosopagnosia' since a similar defect was observed when he was requested to access information about famous persons through their voice rather than their face. Two alternative interpretations are advanced to explain C.O.'s inability to access his relatively spared person-specific knowledge not only through the person's face but also through the person's voice. The first hypothesis is that, before accessing the person-specific information, unimodal recognition channels must converge into a multimodal, non-verbal person-recognition system and that the right anterior temporal cortices play a crucial role in this integrative activity. The second hypothesis is that the face-recognition units have privileged access to person-specific semantic knowledge and that other recognition subsystems require coactivation of the face-recognition units in order to access person-specific semantic information. ( info)

20/48. Hyperfamiliarity for unknown faces after left lateral temporo-occipital venous infarction: a double dissociation with prosopagnosia.

    Right hemisphere dominance in face processing is well established and unilateral right inferior temporo-occipital damage can result in prosopagnosia. Here, we describe a 21-year-old right-handed woman with acute impairment in face recognition that selectively concerned unfamiliar faces, following a focal left lateral temporo-occipital venous infarct. She was severely impaired in discerning that unknown people seen in everyday life were unfamiliar, although she had no difficulty recognizing familiar people. Thus, she had no prosopagnosia, but abnormal 'hyperfamiliarity' for unknown faces. Her difficulty was not accompanied by delusions or deficits in discrimination, identification or memory for faces. Standard neuropsychological testing showed that her recognition of familiar faces was entirely normal. By contrast, her sense of personally knowing faces was severely impaired when unknown faces evoked weak signals of familiarity based on spurious cues, to the extent that she would misattribute fame to faces that were unknown but to which she had been incidentally exposed on a prior occasion. Priming experiments also revealed that, unlike normal subjects, she made familiarity judgements without accessing semantic identity representations. Moreover, in face recognition tests, she generally showed bias in that she relied more on right-hemisphere strategies to identify global traits and less on left-hemisphere processes compared with healthy subjects. This case provides novel evidence for a differential contribution of the two hemispheres to face recognition. Hyperfamiliarity for unknown faces might arise from an imbalance between reciprocal hemispheric functions in face recognition, with relative hypoactivation of left hemisphere processes but hyperactivation of right-hemisphere processes for retrieving stored associations about people, linking seen faces to representations of affective and personal relevance. Hence, abnormal bias in attributing some personal meaning to unknown faces could be evoked by spurious signals of familiarity based on irrelevant affective associations in the right hemisphere. ( info)
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