June 2006
Volume 6, Issue 6
Free
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   June 2006
Normal configural processing of non-face stimuli in prosopagnosia
Author Affiliations
  • Bradley Duchaine
    Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, University College London, London WC1N 3ARUK
  • Galit Yovel
    Department of Psychology, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv 69978Israel
Journal of Vision June 2006, Vol.6, 434. doi:10.1167/6.6.434
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      Bradley Duchaine, Galit Yovel; Normal configural processing of non-face stimuli in prosopagnosia. Journal of Vision 2006;6(6):434. doi: 10.1167/6.6.434.

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Abstract

It is well established that faces are processed by configural mechanisms. This configural processing could be the product of a face-specific mechanism or a content-general configural processing mechanism. If they are content-general, prosopagnosics (individuals with impaired face recognition) should show impairments with a wide range of tasks involving configural processing. To determine whether our sample of prosopagnosics have problems with face configural processing, they were tested with a task requiring discrimination between faces that differed in either part configuration or the face parts themselves. The prosopagnosics showed deficits with face configuration discriminations but also showed comparable deficits with face part discriminations. We then assessed non-face configural processing using three independent measures. On a task with houses that was parallel to that used with faces, the prosopagnosics performed normally with house configuration and house part discriminations. When tested with a Navon global-local task, the prosopagnosics showed normal levels of global interference on local response times and local interference on global response times, and they showed a normal sized advantage for global response times compared to local response times. Finally the prosopagnosics scored normally on three tests of visual closure, which have been argued to require configural processing. Taken together, these results suggest that the prosopagnosics have impairments with domain-specific face processing mechanisms. These mechanisms appear to process faces holistically rather than processing facial configuration and facial parts separately.

Duchaine, B. Yovel, G. (2006). Normal configural processing of non-face stimuli in prosopagnosia [Abstract]. Journal of Vision, 6(6):434, 434a, http://journalofvision.org/6/6/434/, doi:10.1167/6.6.434. [CrossRef]
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