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Cortex. 1998 Jun;34(3):403-15.

Prosopagnosia and alexia without object agnosia.

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Neurological Department, University of Modena.


Following a trauma causing bilateral posterior brain damage, a patient complained of dyslexia and prosopagnosia, but not object agnosia. On testing she showed intact recognition of object drawings, even when it was assessed with perceptually demanding tasks such as Ghent's overlapping figures and Street completion test. This pattern of deficit is inconsistent with Farah's (1990) prediction that the simultaneous occurrence of alexia and prosopagnosia is invariably associated with object agnosia. The patient's reading performance had the features typically found in letter-by-letter readers. On face tests, she showed a discrepancy between the impairment exhibited in familiarity recognition and famous face naming and the correct (though slow) performance in matching the names of famous persons with their photographs. This apparent contradiction was clarified by showing that the patient had maintained the ability to generate the mental images of famous faces in response to the presentation of their names. We assume that face recognition units were intact, but partially disconnected from the output of perceptual processing.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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