Evidence of an eye movement-based memory effect in congenital prosopagnosia.

Bate, S., Haslam, C., Tree, J. J. and Hodgson, T. L., 2008. Evidence of an eye movement-based memory effect in congenital prosopagnosia. Cortex, 44, 806 - 819 .

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DOI: 10.1016/j.cortex.2007.02.004


While extensive work has examined the role of covert recognition in acquired prosopagnosia, little attention has been directed to this process in the congenital form of the disorder. Indeed, evidence of covert recognition has only been demonstrated in one congenital case in which autonomic measures provided evidence of recognition (Jones and Tranel, 2001), whereas two investigations using behavioural indicators failed to demonstrate the effect (de Haan and Campbell, 1991; Bentin et al., 1999). In this paper, we use a behavioural indicator, an “eye movement-based memory effect” (Althoff and Cohen, 1999), to provide evidence of covert recognition in congenital prosopagnosia. In an initial experiment, we examined viewing strategies elicited to famous and novel faces in control participants, and found fewer fixations and reduced regional sampling for famous compared to novel faces. In a second experiment, we examined the same processes in a patient with congenital prosopagnosia (AA), and found some evidence of an eye movement-based memory effect regardless of his recognition accuracy. Finally, we examined whether a difference in scanning strategy was evident for those famous faces AA failed to explicitly recognise, and again found evidence of reduced sampling for famous faces. We use these findings to (a) provide evidence of intact structural representations in a case of congenital prosopagnosia, and (b) to suggest that covert recognition can be demonstrated using behavioural indicators in this disorder.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Congenital prosopagnosia ; Covert recognition ; Visual scanpath ; Face ; Implicit
Group:Faculty of Science and Technology
ID Code:20622
Deposited By: Dr Sarah Bate
Deposited On:06 Feb 2013 15:45
Last Modified:10 Sep 2014 14:54

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