Associative (prosop)agnosia without (apparent) perceptual deficits: A case-study

David Anaki, Yakir Kaufman, Morris Freedman, Morris Moscovitch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations

Abstract

In associative agnosia early perceptual processing of faces or objects are considered to be intact, while the ability to access stored semantic information about the individual face or object is impaired. Recent claims, however, have asserted that associative agnosia is also characterized by deficits at the perceptual level, which are too subtle to be detected by current neuropsychological tests. Thus, the impaired identification of famous faces or common objects in associative agnosia stems from difficulties in extracting the minute perceptual details required to identify a face or an object. In the present study, we report the case of a patient DBO with a left occipital infarct, who shows impaired object and famous face recognition. Despite his disability, he exhibits a face inversion effect, and is able to select a famous face from among non-famous distractors. In addition, his performance is normal in an immediate and delayed recognition memory for faces, whose external features were deleted. His deficits in face recognition are apparent only when he is required to name a famous face, or select two faces from among a triad of famous figures based on their semantic relationships (a task which does not require access to names). The nature of his deficits in object perception and recognition are similar to his impairments in the face domain. This pattern of behavior supports the notion that apperceptive and associative agnosia reflect distinct and dissociated deficits, which result from damage to different stages of the face and object recognition process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1658-1671
Number of pages14
JournalNeuropsychologia
Volume45
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - 9 Apr 2007
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported in part by grants from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research to M. Moscovitch and to M. Freedman. In addition, Dr. Freedman was supported by the Saul A. Silverman Family Foundation, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, as part of a Canada International Scientific Exchange Program (CISEPO) project.

Funding

This study was supported in part by grants from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research to M. Moscovitch and to M. Freedman. In addition, Dr. Freedman was supported by the Saul A. Silverman Family Foundation, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, as part of a Canada International Scientific Exchange Program (CISEPO) project.

FundersFunder number
CISEPO
Saul A. Silverman Family Foundation
Canadian Institutes of Health Research

    Keywords

    • Apperceptive/associative
    • Face recognition
    • Object recognition
    • Prosopagnosia
    • Visual agnosia

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