September 2011
Volume 11, Issue 11
Free
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   September 2011
Holistic face perception impairment in acquired prosopagnosia as evidenced by eye-gaze-contingency: Generalization to several cases
Author Affiliations
  • Goedele Van Belle
    Institute of Neuroscience (IoNS), Université catholique de Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium
    Unité Cognition et Développement, Université catholique de Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium
  • Thomas Busigny
    Institute of Neuroscience (IoNS), Université catholique de Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium
    Unité Cognition et Développement, Université catholique de Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium
  • Anthony Hosein
    Research Laboratory in Neuroscience and Cognitive Electrophysiology, Hôpital Rivière des Prairies, Université de Montréal, Montreal, Canada
  • Boutheina Jemel
    Research Laboratory in Neuroscience and Cognitive Electrophysiology, Hôpital Rivière des Prairies, Université de Montréal, Montreal, Canada
  • Philippe Lefère
    Institute of Neuroscience (IoNS), Université catholique de Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium
    CESAME, Université catholique de Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium
  • Bruno Rossion
    Institute of Neuroscience (IoNS), Université catholique de Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium
    Unité Cognition et Développement, Université catholique de Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium
Journal of Vision September 2011, Vol.11, 569. doi:10.1167/11.11.569
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      Goedele Van Belle, Thomas Busigny, Anthony Hosein, Boutheina Jemel, Philippe Lefère, Bruno Rossion; Holistic face perception impairment in acquired prosopagnosia as evidenced by eye-gaze-contingency: Generalization to several cases. Journal of Vision 2011;11(11):569. doi: 10.1167/11.11.569.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Abstract

Gaze-contingency is a method introduced by Rayner (Cog. Psy., 1975) to investigate the perceptual span in reading by selectively revealing/masking a portion of the visual field in real time. Recently, we introduced this approach in the field of face perception, showing that a brain-damaged patient with impairment limited to face recognition (acquired prosopagnosia, patient PS) presents with the reverse pattern as normal observers: almost no further decrease of performance when only one feature at a time is available (foveal window condition), but a very large impairment when the fixated feature is masked (mask condition), forcing holistic perception (Van Belle et al., JOV 2009: http://www.journalofvision.org/content/9/8/541; Neuropsychologia, 2010). Here we extend these latter observations to two cases of acquired prosopagnosia with unilateral right hemisphere damage: GG (Busigny et al., Neuropsychologia, 2010; lingual, fusiform and parahippocampal damage) and LR (Bukach et al., J. Cogn. Neurosci., 2006; anterior pole damage). Both patients also present with impairment in visual recognition limited to faces. They were tested in a delayed face matching task with a full view, gaze contingent window, and gaze contingent mask condition. Similar to PS and contrary to normal observers, both patients were significantly more impaired with a mask than with a window, demonstrating problems with holistic face perception. These observations support a generalized account of acquired prosopagnosia as a selective impairment of holistic face perception, and imply that holistic perception is a key element of normal human face recognition. Furthermore, the similar behavioral pattern of all three patients despite their very different lesion locations supports a distributed network view of the neural face processing structures, meaning that the key function of face perception requires the activity of several brain areas of the right hemisphere and their mutual connectivity.

Bruno Rossion, Goedele Van Belle and Thomas Busigny were supported by the Belgian National Fund for Scientific Research (Fonds Nationale de la Recherche Scientifique FNRS). Philippe Lefère was supported by the Fonds National de la Recherche Scientifique, the Fondation pour la Recherche Scientifique Medicale, the European Space Agency (ESA,European Union), and Prodex grant C90232 from Belspo (Belgian Science Policy). 
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