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Why can people with developmental prosopagnosia recognise some familiar faces? Insights from subjective experience.

Portch, E., Wignall, L. and Bate, S., 2023. Why can people with developmental prosopagnosia recognise some familiar faces? Insights from subjective experience. PeerJ, 11, e15497.

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peerj-15497_FINAL.pdf - Published Version
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DOI: 10.7717/peerj.15497


Developmental prosopagnosia is a relatively common visuo-cognitive condition, characterised by impaired facial identity recognition. Impairment severity appears to reside on a continuum, however, it is unknown whether instances of milder deficits reflect the successful use of spontaneous (typical) face recognition strategies, or the application of extraneous compensatory cues to recognition. Here, we explore this issue in two studies. First, 23 adults with developmental prosopagnosia were asked about their use of spontaneous versus compensatory face recognition techniques in everyday life, using a series of closed- and open-ended questions. Second, the same participants performed a computerised famous face recognition task where they were asked to provide reasons why they could make any successful identifications. Findings from both studies suggest that people with developmental prosopagnosia can successfully, and quite frequently, use compensatory strategies to recognition, and that these cues support the majority of instances of preserved familiar face recognition. In contrast, 16 of the 23 participants were able to spontaneously recognise familiar faces on at least some occasions, but there were vast individual differences in frequencies of success. These findings have important implications for our conceptualisation of the condition, as well as for diagnostic practice.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Cognitive Disorders; Psychiatry and Psychology; Face recognition; Face perception; Developmental prosopagnosia; Face learning; Familiarisation; Compensatory mechanisms;
Group:Faculty of Science & Technology
ID Code:38795
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:20 Jul 2023 08:23
Last Modified:20 Jul 2023 08:23


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