Covert face recognition relies on affective valence in congenital prosopagnosia.

Bate, Sarah; Haslam, Catherine; Jansari, Ashok S. and Hodgson, Timothy L.. 2009. Covert face recognition relies on affective valence in congenital prosopagnosia. Cognitive Neuropsychology, 26(4), pp. 391-411. ISSN 0264-3294 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

Dominant accounts of covert recognition in prosopagnosia assume subthreshold activation of face representations created prior to onset of the disorder. Yet, such accounts cannot explain covert recognition in congenital prosopagnosia, where the impairment is present from birth. Alternatively, covert recognition may rely on affective valence, yet no study has explored this possibility. The current study addressed this issue in 3 individuals with congenital prosopagnosia, using measures of the scanpath to indicate recognition. Participants were asked to memorize 30 faces paired with descriptions of aggressive, nice, or neutral behaviours. In a later recognition test, eye movements were monitored while participants discriminated studied from novel faces. Sampling was reduced for studied–nice compared to studied–aggressive faces, and performance for studied–neutral and novel faces fell between these two conditions. This pattern of findings suggests that (a) positive emotion can facilitate processing in prosopagnosia, and (b) covert recognition may rely on emotional valence rather than familiarity.

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Date Deposited:

22 Jul 2015 09:33

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30 Jun 2017 16:07

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Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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