Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Frontiers in Psychology


Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences


While a network of cortical regions contribute to face processing, the lesions in acquired prosopagnosia are highly variable, and likely result in different combinations of spared and affected regions of this network. To assess the residual functional sensitivities of spared regions in prosopagnosia, we designed a rapid event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) experiment that included pairs of faces with same or different identities and same or different expressions. By measuring the release from adaptation to these facial changes we determined the residual sensitivity of face-selective regions-of-interest. We tested three patients with acquired prosopagnosia, and all three of these patients demonstrated residual sensitivity for facial identity changes in surviving fusiform and occipital face areas of either the right or left hemisphere, but not in the right posterior superior temporal sulcus. The patients also showed some residual capabilities for facial discrimination with normal performance on the Benton Facial Recognition Test, but impaired performance on more complex tasks of facial discrimination. We conclude that fMRI can demonstrate residual processing of facial identity in acquired prosopagnosia, that this adaptation can occur in the same structures that show similar processing in healthy subjects, and further, that this adaptation may be related to behavioral indices of face perception.



Original Citation

Fox CJ, Iaria G, Duchaine BC, Barton JJ. Residual fMRI sensitivity for identity changes in acquired prosopagnosia. Front Psychol. 2013 Oct 18;4:756. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00756. PMID: 24151479; PMCID: PMC3799008.