'I know your name but not your face'

Explaining modality-based differences in access to biographical knowledge in a patient with retrograde amnesia

C. Haslam*, M. Cook, M. Coltheart

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In current functional models of person recognition it is proposed that there exists a single common body of semantic information concerning people accessible from all modalities (e.g. names, faces). In this paper, we present evidence that challenges this view. Two experiments are discussed investigating residual autobiographical and public knowledge in a patient suffering from retrograde amnesia. Knowledge about people was investigated in each case by asking a series of questions, ranging from the very general to the very specific. Experiment 1 examined knowledge about famous people. The results showed that the patient accessed more information about famous people when cued with names than when cued with faces. Experiment 2 examined knowledge about people known personally to the patient. Again, the same pattern of results emerged. While the patient responded accurately to all questions posed with name cues, her ability to recall the same information when prompted with face cues was clearly inferior. This modality-based difference in accessing biographical knowledge is discussed in relation to models of person recognition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-199
Number of pages11
JournalNeurocase
Volume7
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

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