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Garga Chatterjee, Richard Russell, Ken Nakayama; Non-face visual memory impairments in developmental prosopagnosia. Journal of Vision 2009;9(8):488. doi: 10.1167/9.8.488.
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Developmental prosopagnosia (DP) is an important test case regarding modularity and structure of the visual system. Duchaine et al (2005) demonstrated that some cases of developmental prosopagnosia show deficits highly selective for faces. Duchaine et al also found a large family with both face and within category object deficits, indicating multiple causes of face deficits. To explore this issue in a wider sample, we tested 18 DPs and 14 age matched control subjects. Face memory was assessed by the Cambridge Face Memory Test. Two tests of non-face visual memory were administered - one using abstract art images and the other using within category discrimination of objects. Verbal memory was assessed using a written word paired associates test. DPs were severely impaired in the Cambridge Face Memory Test (Cohen's d= 3.9) confirming their face recognition deficits. They were also impaired on the abstract art and the within category object memory test, with a Cohen's d of 1.6 and 1.63 respectively. There was an insignificant difference with the verbal task, with the DPs scoring slightly higher than the control group.While the developmental prosopagnosics did not show deficits in verbal memory, in most cases they did show general visual memory deficits.
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