Exploring the role of motion in prosopagnosia: recognizing, learning and matching faces.
Lander K., Humphreys G., Bruce V.
HJA has been completely unable to recognize faces since suffering a stroke some 22 years ago. Previous research has shown that he is poor at judging expressions from static photographs of faces, but performs relatively normally at these judgements when presented with moving point-light patterns (Humphreys et al., 1993). Recent research with non-prosopagnosic participants has suggested a beneficial role for facial motion when recognizing familiar faces and learning new faces. Three experiments are reported that investigate the role of face motion for HJA when recognizing (Experiment 1), learning (Experiment 2) and matching faces (Experiment 3). The results indicate that HJA is unable to use face motion to explicitly recognize faces and is no better at learning names for moving faces than static ones. However, HJA is significantly better at matching moving faces for identity, an opposite pattern to that found with age-matched and undergraduate control participants. We suggest that HJA is not impaired at processing motion information but remains unable to use motion as a cue to identity.