Journal of Neuropsychology

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Volume 3 Issue 1 (March 2009), Pages 1-143

Is the loss of diagnosticity of the eye region of the face a common aspect of acquired prosopagnosia? (pages 69-78)

A recent study published in this journal has shown an abnormal performance at discriminating differences with respect to the eyes of unfamiliar faces in two acquired prosopagnosic patients, but preserved processing of the mouth region. Here we extend these findings by showing a similar lack of sensitivity to the eyes in the very same face matching experiment for the prosopagnosic patient PS, who also showed normal performance for detecting differences in the mouth region. These results complement previously published evidence that the patient PS presents a lack of sensitivity to diagnostic information located on the eyes of familiar faces during individual face recognition tasks. More generally, they indicate that the impaired processing of the eyes of faces is a fundamental aspect of acquired prosopagnosia that can arise following damage to different brain localizations.

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