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Multiple accounts have been proposed to explain category-specific recognition impairments. Some suggest that category-specific deficits may be caused by a deficit in recurrent processing between the levels of a hierarchically organized visual object recognition system. Here, we tested predictions of interactive processing theories on the emergence of category-selective naming deficits in neurologically intact observers and in patient GA, a single case showing a category-specific impairment for natural objects after a herpes simplex encephalitis infection. Fragmented object outlines were repeatedly presented until correct naming occurred (maximum 10 times), and the fragments increased in length with every repetition. We studied how shape complexity, object category, and fragment curvature influence the timing of correct object identification. The results of a survival analysis are consistent with the idea that deficits in recurrent processing between low- and high-level visual object representations can cause category-selective impairments.

Original publication




Journal article


Vis cogn

Publication Date





79 - 99


Object recognition, category-specific impairments, event history analysis