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The domain-specificity of face matching impairments in 40 cases of developmental prosopagnosia / Sarah Bate; Rachel J. Bennetts; Jeremy Tree; Amanda Adams; Ebony Murray
Cognition, Volume: 192, Start page: 104031
Swansea University Author: Jeremy, Tree
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A prevailing debate in the psychological literature concerns the domain-specificity of the face recognition system, where evidence from typical and neurological participants has been interpreted as evidence that faces are “special”. Although several studies have investigated the same question in cas...
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A prevailing debate in the psychological literature concerns the domain-specificity of the face recognition system, where evidence from typical and neurological participants has been interpreted as evidence that faces are “special”. Although several studies have investigated the same question in cases of developmental prosopagnosia, the vast majority of this evidence has recently been discounted due to methodological concerns. This leaves an uncomfortable void in the literature, restricting our understanding of the typical and atypical development of the face recognition system. The current study addressed this issue in 40 individuals with developmental prosopagnosia, completing a sequential same/different face and biological (hands) and non-biological (houses) object matching task, with upright and inverted conditions. Findings support domain-specific accounts of face-processing for both hands and houses: while significant correlations emerged between all the object categories, no condition correlated with performance in the upright faces condition. Further, a categorical analysis demonstrated that, when face matching was impaired, object matching skills were classically dissociated in six out of 15 individuals (four for both categories). These findings provide evidence about domain-specificity in developmental disorders of face recognition, and present a theoretically-driven means of partitioning developmental prosopagnosia.
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