Comparing the sensitivity of face matching assessments to detect face perception impairments


Maruti Mishra, Regan Fry, Elyana Saad, Joseph Arizpe, Yuri-Grace Ohashi, and Joseph DeGutis. 12/10/2021. “Comparing the sensitivity of face matching assessments to detect face perception impairments.” Neuropsychologia, 163. Publisher's Version


Numerous neurological, developmental, and psychiatric conditions demonstrate impaired face recognition, which can be socially debilitating. These impairments can be caused by either deficient face perception or face memory mechanisms. Though there are well-validated, sensitive measures of face memory impairments, it currently remains unclear which assessments best measure face perception impairments. A sensitive, validated face perception measure could help with diagnosing causes of face recognition deficits and be useful in characterizing individual differences in unimpaired populations. Here, we compared the computerized Benton Face Recognition Test (BFRT-c) and Cambridge Face Perception Test (CFPT) in their ability to differentiate developmental prosopagnosics (DPs, N = 30) and age-matched controls (N = 30). Participants completed the BFRT-c, CFPT, and two additional face perception assessments: the University of Southern California Face Perception Test (USCFPT) and a novel same/different face matching test (SDFMT). Participants were also evaluated on objective and subjective face recognition tasks including the Cambridge Face Memory Test, famous faces test, and Prosopagnosia Index-20. We performed a logistic regression with the perception tests predicting DP vs. control group membership and used multiple linear regressions to predict continuous objective and subjective face recognition memory. Our results show that the BFRT-c performed as well as, if not better than, the CFPT, and that both tests clearly outperformed the USCFPT and SDFMT. Further, exploratory analyses revealed that face lighting-change conditions better predicted DP group membership and face recognition abilities than viewpoint-change conditions. Together, these results support the combined use of the BFRT-c and CFPT to best assess face perception impairments.