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Cortex. 1995 Sep;31(3):517-29.

Covert face recognition in prosopagnosia: a dissociable function?

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  • 1University of Konstanz, Germany.


Covert face recognition was investigated in a patient with prosopagnosia without object agnosia. This patient performed well in various face processing tasks like expression analysis and feature processing and had relatively preserved semantic knowledge about persons, but was slightly impaired in the visual matching of unfamiliar faces. In face-name paired-associate relearning task, covert face recognition was demonstrated to be above-chance. However, as this task cannot be meaningfully applied to control subjects, results do not necessarily indicate that the degree of covert face recognition is normal. In fact, in contrast to control subjects, the patient showed significantly reduced associative priming of names by face primes as compared to name primes, suggesting a quantitative reduction of covert face recognition. It is argued that these results support the view that overt and covert face recognition are brought about by the same functional system (Farah, O'Reilly and Vecera, 1993).

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