July 2013
Volume 13, Issue 9
Free
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   July 2013
Varied behavioral profiles in children with developmental prosopagnosia reveal dissociations in the developing face processing system
Author Affiliations
  • Kirsten Dalrymple
    Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, Dartmouth College, Hanover, USA\nInstitute of Cognitive Neuroscience, University College London, London, UK
  • Brad Duchaine
    Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, Dartmouth College, Hanover, USA
Journal of Vision July 2013, Vol.13, 994. doi:10.1167/13.9.994
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      Kirsten Dalrymple, Brad Duchaine; Varied behavioral profiles in children with developmental prosopagnosia reveal dissociations in the developing face processing system. Journal of Vision 2013;13(9):994. doi: 10.1167/13.9.994.

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

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Abstract

Developmental prosopagnosia (DP) is a neurodevelopmental condition characterized by severe face recognition problems that result from a failure to develop the visual mechanisms necessary for normal face processing. Although much work has been done to study DP in adults, little has been done to study it in children. The study of DP in children makes it possible to address unique questions regarding the organization and development of the face processing system. Specifically, by looking at the performance of children with DP on a variety of face and object processing tasks, cognitive dissociations can be identified that can speak to the functional organization of the face processing system. Looking at patterns of face processing impairments in the developing system can also provide information about when the mechanisms underlying normal face processing differentiate from each other during development. We used a battery of tests of face and object perception to document the behavioral profiles of children with suspected face recognition difficulties. Children performed tests of face memory, face perception, face detection, expression recognition, and gender discrimination, as well as object recognition tasks matched to the face tasks. General intelligence, acuity, and autistic tendencies were also assessed. Distinct phenotypes of DP emerged: Some children presented impairments on some, but not all face tasks, and performed normally on object tasks, suggesting face-specific deficits restricted to a subset face-processing abilities. Other children presented more widespread face processing deficits, performing poorly on all face memory and perception tests, yet normally on object tasks, indicating severe face-specific processing impairments. Another subset of children presented severe face and object processing deficits, indicating more general high-level visual impairments. These results provide evidence for dissociations of face processing abilities early in life and provide a basis for classifying different phenotypes of DP the developing face processing system.

Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2013

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