Acquired Prosopagnosia with Structurally Intact and Functional Fusiform Face Area and with Face Identity-Specific Configuration Processing Deficits

Beatrice de Gelder*, Elizabeth Huis In 't Veldt, Minye Zhan, Jan Van den Stock

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Prosopagnosia or loss of face perception and recognition is still poorly understood and rare single cases of acquired prosopagnosia can provide a unique window on the behavioural and brain basis of normal face perception. The present study of a new case of acquired prosopagnosia with bilateral occipito-temporal lesions but a structurally intact FFA and OFA investigated whether the lesion overlapped with the face network and whether the structurally intact FFA showed a face selective response. We also investigated the behavioral correlates of the neural findings and assessed configural processing in the context of facial and non-facial identity recognition, expression recognition and memory, also focusing on the face-selectivity of each specific deficit. The findings reveal a face-selective response in the FFA, despite lesions in the face perception network. At the behavioural level, the results showed impaired configural processing for facial identity, but not for other stimulus categories and not for facial expression recognition. These findings challenge a critical role of the FFA for face identity processing and support a domain-specific account of configural processing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4671-4683
Number of pages13
JournalCerebral Cortex
Issue number21
Early online date30 Jan 2022
Publication statusPublished - 20 Oct 2022

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