September 2021
Volume 21, Issue 9
Open Access
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   September 2021
Typical visual processing of Navon-style compound letters and compound arrows in developmental prosopagnosia
Author Affiliations
  • Maria Tsantani
    Birkbeck, University of London
  • Tim Vestner
    Birkbeck, University of London
  • Richard Cook
    Birkbeck, University of London
Journal of Vision September 2021, Vol.21, 2665. doi:https://doi.org/10.1167/jov.21.9.2665
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      Maria Tsantani, Tim Vestner, Richard Cook; Typical visual processing of Navon-style compound letters and compound arrows in developmental prosopagnosia. Journal of Vision 2021;21(9):2665. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/jov.21.9.2665.

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

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Abstract

Developmental prosopagnosia (DP) is characterised by lifelong face recognition difficulties in the absence of brain damage. The study of DP has seen two longstanding debates: Are the observed deficits in DP face-specific or do they also impair the perception of non-face stimuli? Is DP associated with reduced ability to form integrated global representations (aberrant ‘configural’ processing)? Findings from the Navon paradigm are potentially important because they inform both debates. In this task, participants make decisions about the local elements and global configuration of compound stimuli. Arrangements can be consistent whereby the local elements match the global configuration (e.g., multiple small S’s arranged to form a large S) or inconsistent whereby there is a mismatch between the local elements and the global configuration (e.g., multiple small S’s arranged to form a large H). Participants are slower to identify the local elements and global configuration of inconsistent arrangements, suggestive of global-to-local and local-to-global interference, respectively. There has been much speculation that DPs perform atypically on this paradigm, potentially suggestive of aberrant global shape processing. However, existing studies with relatively small samples of DPs have yielded mixed results. Here, we aimed to test a larger sample of DPs on two versions of the Navon paradigm. In one task, compound stimuli were constructed from letters. In a second task, compound stimuli were constructed from arrows. Our preliminary results suggest that DPs (N = 14) and age-matched controls (N = 120) show comparable performance on these tasks. Both groups exhibit clear local-to-global and global-to-local interference effects. Both groups also show clear global precedence effects whereby participants identify the global configuration more quickly than the local elements. All effects were seen independently with compound letters and compound arrows. These results suggest that the perceptual deficit seen in DP does not disrupt performance on the Navon task.

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