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Rev Neurol. 2004 Apr 1-15;38(7):682-6.

[Prosopagnosia: is it a single or a multiple entity?].

[Article in Spanish]

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Departamento de Psicología Básica, Facultad de Psicologia, Universidad de Salamanca. Salamanca, España.



The prosopagnosia has generally been defined as an incapacity to recognize familiar faces, or faces previously known, due to certain lesions to certain areas of the cerebral cortex. Yet it seems that there is no universal consensus neither on its definition nor in relation to the specific lesions that might cause it. There seems to be no consensus either around the criteria that might enable us to identify different types of prosopagnosia.


We make an attempt to revise the definition of prosopagnosia and to see if it is appropriate to consider it as a single entity or, on the contrary, we are able to differentiate specific types of prosopagnosia according to its origin, brain lesion associated with it or the patients characteristics. On the other hand, we questioned ourselves whether different exams usually utilized for the identification of prosopagnosia in fact measure the same concept.


We propose that we could distinguish different types of prosopagnosia with different clinical characteristics. Then we went on to differentiate between developed prosopagnosias and acquired prosopagnosias by bilateral brain lesion as opposed with those associated with a fundamentally aperceptive deficit, as opposed to those linked with a fundamentally associative deficit. Lastly, we propose that different types of exams of recognition and identification can measure distinct aspects linked to prosopagnosia.

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