August 2012
Volume 12, Issue 9
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   August 2012
Developmental prosopagnosia in children: A case study of improvement in face recognition as a result of training.
Author Affiliations
  • Jordan Mathison
    University of Minnesota
  • Sherryse Corrow
    University of Minnesota
  • Albert Yonas
    University of Minnesota
Journal of Vision August 2012, Vol.12, 989. doi:
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      Jordan Mathison, Sherryse Corrow, Albert Yonas; Developmental prosopagnosia in children: A case study of improvement in face recognition as a result of training.. Journal of Vision 2012;12(9):989.

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

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Developmental prosopagnosia (DP) refers to an inability to recognize faces despite no brain injury and often typical IQ, emotion recognition, and object recognition. Little is known about this disorder in children and few studies have examined training programs for DP children. We present a case study of a child with DP, referred to as B, who completed a training program, FaceSay (Symbionica, LLC). Participant: B is a healthy male of above-average intelligence with no neurological disorder, behavioral disorder, or other visual impairment. Methods: We measured B's facial recognition skills four times over 21 months using the Cambridge Face Memory Test for Children. He then completed eight weeks of training using the FaceSay Program for 25 minutes, 2 times a week. B was trained to recognize emotions and faces and follow gaze. Two post tests followed training. Results: Before training, B performed at chance on all pre-tests (50.0% 48.3%, 46.7%, 58.3%; 50% is chance); average performance of typically developing 7- and 8-year-old children on this test is 75% and 80% respectively (sd = 10.8 and 10.7, n = 84 and 43). After training, B answered correctly on 74% of trials both immediately post-training and 1 month post-training. Discussion: Given that B showed no improvement across 4 baseline assessments and no improvement between the two post-test assessments, it is unlikely that experience with the test improves performance. This is one of few studies of a training program done with children with DP. While B improved performance on the CFMT, it is yet unclear why training was successful or if the improvement generalizes to face recognition skills outside the laboratory. Although it should be kept in mind that this is only a case study, these results suggest that it may be possible to improve face recognition abilities in children with DP.

Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2012


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