Abnormal fMRI adaptation to unfamiliar faces in a case of developmental prosopamnesia

Williams, M. A., Berberovic, N. and Mattingley, J. B. (2007) Abnormal fMRI adaptation to unfamiliar faces in a case of developmental prosopamnesia. Current Biology, 17 14: 1259-1264. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2007.06.042

Author Williams, M. A.
Berberovic, N.
Mattingley, J. B.
Title Abnormal fMRI adaptation to unfamiliar faces in a case of developmental prosopamnesia
Journal name Current Biology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0960-9822
Publication date 2007-01-01
Year available 2007
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.cub.2007.06.042
Open Access Status
Volume 17
Issue 14
Start page 1259
End page 1264
Total pages 6
Editor North, G.
et al.
Place of publication United Kingdom
Publisher Cell Press
Language eng
Subject C1
380103 Biological Psychology (Neuropsychology, Psychopharmacology, Physiological Psychology)
780108 Behavioural and cognitive sciences
Abstract In rare cases, damage to the temporal lobe causes a selective impairment in the ability to learn new faces, a condition known as prosopamnesia [1]. Here we present the case of an individual with prosopamnesia in the absence of any acquired structural lesion. "C" shows intact processing of simple and complex non-face objects, but her ability to learn new faces is severely impaired. We used a neural marker of perceptual learning known as repetition suppression to examine functioning within C's fusiform face area (FFA), a region of cortex involved in face perception [2]. For comparison, we examined repetition suppression in the scene-selective parahippocampal place area (PPA) [3]. As expected, normal controls showed significant region-specific attenuation of neural activity across repetitions of each stimulus class. C also showed normal attenuation within the PPA to familiar and unfamiliar scenes, and within the FFA to familiar faces. Critically, however, she failed to show any adaptive change within the FFA for repeated unfamiliar faces, despite a face-specific blood-oxygen-dependent response (BOLD) response in her FFA during viewing of face stimuli. Our findings suggest that in developmental prosopamnesia, the FFA cannot maintain stable representations of new faces for subsequent recall or recognition.
Keyword Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
Q-Index Code C1
Institutional Status UQ

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Created: Tue, 19 Feb 2008, 00:27:47 EST