Face recognition impairments despite normal holistic processing and face space coding: Evidence from a case of developmental prosopagnosia

Tirta Susilo*, Elinor McKone, Hugh Dennett, Hayley Darke, Romina Palermo, Ashleigh Hall, Madeleine Pidcock, Amy Dawel, Linda Jeffery, C. Ellie Wilson, Gillian Rhodes

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    51 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Holistic processing and face space coding are widely considered primary perceptual mechanisms behind good face recognition. Here, however, we present the case of S.P., a developmental prosopagnosic who demonstrated severe impairments in face memory and face perception, yet showed normal holistic processing and face space coding. Across three composite experiments, S.P. showed normalstrength holistic processing for upright faces and no composite effect for inverted faces. Across five aftereffect experiments, S.P. showed normal-sized face aftereffects, which derived normally from face space rather than shape-generic mechanisms. The case of S.P. implies: (a) normal holistic processing and face space coding can be insufficient for good face recognition even when present in combination; and (b) the focus of recent literature on holistic processing and face space should be expanded to include other potential face processing mechanisms (e.g., part-based processing). Our article also highlights the importance of internal task reliability in drawing inferences from single-case studies.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)636-664
    Number of pages29
    JournalCognitive Neuropsychology
    Volume27
    Issue number8
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2010

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