Developmental prosopagnosia in childhood

Cogn Neuropsychol. 2012;29(5-6):393-418. doi: 10.1080/02643294.2012.722547. Epub 2012 Nov 12.


Developmental prosopagnosia (DP) is defined by severe face recognition problems resulting from a failure to develop the necessary visual mechanisms for processing faces. While there is a growing literature on DP in adults, little has been done to study this disorder in children. The profound impact of abnormal face perception on social functioning and the general lack of awareness of childhood DP can result in severe social and psychological consequences for children. This review discusses possible aetiologies of DP and summarizes the few cases of childhood DP that have been reported. It also outlines key objectives for the growth of this emerging research area and special considerations for studying DP in children. With clear goals and concerted efforts, the study of DP in childhood will be an exciting avenue for enhancing our understanding of normal and abnormal face perception for all age groups.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pattern Recognition, Visual*
  • Prosopagnosia / congenital*
  • Prosopagnosia / diagnosis
  • Prosopagnosia / etiology
  • Recognition, Psychology*
  • Research
  • Visual Perception

Supplementary concepts

  • Prosopagnosia, hereditary