Configuration perception and face memory, and face context effects in developmental prosopagnosia

Lisanne Huis in 't Veld, J. van den Stock, B. de Gelder*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This study addresses two central and controversial issues in developmental prosopagnosia (DP), configuration- versus feature-based face processing and the influence of affective information from either facial or bodily expressions on face recognition. A sample of 10 DPs and 10 controls were tested with a previously developed face and object recognition and memory battery (Facial Expressive Action Stimulus Test, FEAST), a task measuring the influence of emotional faces and bodies on face identity matching (FaceBody Compound task), and an emotionally expressive face memory task (Emotional Face Memory task, FaMe-E). We show that DPs were impaired in upright, but not inverted, face matching but they performed at the level of controls on part-to-whole matching. Second, DPs showed impaired memory for both neutral and emotional faces and scored within the normal range on the FaceBody Compound task. Third, configural perception but not feature-based processing was significantly associated with memory performance. Taken together the results indicate that DPs have a deficit in configural processing at the perception stage that may underlie the memory impairment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)464-481
JournalCognitive Neuropsychology
Issue number5-6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012

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