Perceptual separability of featural and configural information in congenital prosopagnosia Academic Article uri icon


  • The deficit in face recognition in individuals with prosopagnosia has often been attributed to an underlying impairment in holistic processing. Exactly what constitutes holistic processing has remained controversial, however. Here, we compare how configural information and featural information interact during face processing in a group of individuals with congenital prosopagnosia (CP) and matched controls. We adopted Amishav and Kimchi's version of Garner's speeded classification task, in which observers classify upright faces based on configural (intereyes and nose–mouth spacing) or featural (shape of eyes, nose, and mouth) information while the other dimension remains constant or varied randomly. We replicated the finding that normal observers evince symmetric Garner interference—failure to selectively attend to features without being influenced by irrelevant variation in configuration, and vice versa—indicating that featural and configural information are integral in normal face processing. In contrast...

publication date

  • January 1, 2012