Figure 417

Recognition memory for features of houses and faces when presented with whole houses or faces or with only features. Data from Farah (1994a).

were no beneficial effects at all with word stimuli. Thus, as predicted, there seemed to be less holistic processing of object (house) and word stimuli than of faces.

Brain damage

Farah (1990) discussed some evidence based on patients suffering from one or more of the following: prosopagnosia; visual agnosia (in which object recognition is disrupted in spite of the fact that visual information reaches the visual cortex); and alexia (problems with reading in spite of good ability to comprehend spoken language and good object recognition). According to the theory, prosopagnosia involves impaired holistic or configurational processing, alexia involves impaired analytic processing, and visual agnosia involves impaired holistic and analytic processing. It should be noted that Farah (1990) did not distinguish between apperceptive agnosia and associative agnosia.

Farah (1990) was interested in the co-occurrence of these three conditions in 87 patients. What would we expect from her theory? First, patients with visual agnosia (having impaired holistic and analytic processing) should also suffer from prosopagnosia or alexia, or both. This prediction was confirmed. There were 21 patients with all three conditions, 15 patients with visual agnosia and alexia, 14 patients with visual agnosia and prosopagnosia, but only 1 patient who may have had visual agnosia on its own.

Second, and most importantly, there was a double dissociation between prosopagnosia and alexia. There were 35 patients who suffered from prosopagnosia without having alexia, and there are numerous reports in the literature of patients with alexia without prosopagnosia. Thus, the processes and brain systems underlying face recognition seem to be different from those underlying word recognition.

This conclusion receives support from attempts to identify the brain areas damaged in prosopagnosia and alexia using MRI and other neuroimaging techniques. Most prosopagnosic patients have damage to the occipital and/or temporal lobes of the cortex. In contrast, alexia "is typically associated with lesions of the

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