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Cereb Cortex. 2016 Apr;26(4):1473-1487. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhu240. Epub 2014 Oct 27.

Voice Recognition in Face-Blind Patients.

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Human Vision and Eye Movement Laboratory, Departments of Medicine (Neurology), Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada.
Department of Psychology, Dartmouth University, Hanover, NH, USA.
Neuro-ophthalmology Section K, VGH Eye Care Centre, Vancouver, BC, Canada V5Z 3N9.


Right or bilateral anterior temporal damage can impair face recognition, but whether this is an associative variant of prosopagnosia or part of a multimodal disorder of person recognition is an unsettled question, with implications for cognitive and neuroanatomic models of person recognition. We assessed voice perception and short-term recognition of recently heard voices in 10 subjects with impaired face recognition acquired after cerebral lesions. All 4 subjects with apperceptive prosopagnosia due to lesions limited to fusiform cortex had intact voice discrimination and recognition. One subject with bilateral fusiform and anterior temporal lesions had a combined apperceptive prosopagnosia and apperceptive phonagnosia, the first such described case. Deficits indicating a multimodal syndrome of person recognition were found only in 2 subjects with bilateral anterior temporal lesions. All 3 subjects with right anterior temporal lesions had normal voice perception and recognition, 2 of whom performed normally on perceptual discrimination of faces. This confirms that such lesions can cause a modality-specific associative prosopagnosia.


familiarity; multimodal; prosopagnosia; semantic; voice perception

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