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Cogn Neuropsychol. 2007 Jun;24(4):419-30. doi: 10.1080/02643290701380491.

Family resemblance: ten family members with prosopagnosia and within-class object agnosia.

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  • 1Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, University College London, London, UK.


We report on neuropsychological testing done with a family in which many members reported severe face recognition impairments. These 10 individuals were high functioning in everyday life and performed normally on tests of low-level vision and high-level cognition. In contrast, they showed clear deficits with tests requiring face memory and judgements of facial similarity. They did not show deficits with all aspects of higher level visual processing as all tested performed normally on a challenging facial emotion recognition task and on a global-local letter identification task. On object memory tasks requiring recognition of particular cars and guns, they showed significant deficits so their recognition impairments were not restricted to facial identity. These results strongly suggest the existence of a genetic condition leading to a selective deficit of visual recognition.

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