- Congenital prosopagnosia refers to the deficit in face processing that is apparent from early childhood in the absence of any underlying neurological basis and in the presence of intact sensory and intellectual function. Several such cases have been described recently and elucidating the mechanisms giving rise to this impairment should aid our understanding of the psychological and neural mechanisms mediating face processing. Fundamental questions include: What is the nature and extent of the face-processing deficit in congenital prosopagnosia? Is the deficit related to a more general perceptual deficit such as the failure to process configural information? Are any neural alterations detectable using fMRI, ERP or structural analyses of the anatomy of the ventral visual cortex? We discuss these issues in relation to the existing literature and suggest directions for future research.