Evidence for normal novel object recognition abilities in developmental prosopagnosia


Regan Fry, Jeremy Wilmer, Isabella Xie, Mieke Verfaellie, and Joseph DeGutis. 9/23/2020. “Evidence for normal novel object recognition abilities in developmental prosopagnosia.” Royal Society Open Science, 7, 9. Publisher's Version


The issue of the face specificity of recognition deficits in developmental prosopagnosia (DP) is fundamental to the organization of high-level visual memory and has been increasingly debated in recent years. Previous DP investigations have found some evidence of object recognition impairments, but have almost exclusively used familiar objects (e.g. cars), where performance may depend on acquired object-specific experience and related visual expertise. An object recognition test not influenced by experience could provide a better, less contaminated measure of DPs' object recognition abilities. To investigate this, in the current study we tested 30 DPs and 30 matched controls on a novel object memory test (NOMT Ziggerins) and the Cambridge Face Memory Test (CFMT). DPs with severe impairment on the CFMT showed no differences in accuracy or reaction times compared with controls on the NOMT. We found similar results when comparing DPs with a larger sample of 274 web-based controls. Additional individual analyses demonstrated that the rate of object recognition impairment in DPs did not differ from the rate of impairment in either control group. Together, these results demonstrate unimpaired object recognition in DPs for a class of novel objects that serves as a powerful index for broader novel object recognition capacity.