Childhood prosopagnosia

Brain Cogn. 1989 Jan;9(1):16-47. doi: 10.1016/0278-2626(89)90042-0.


K.D. has been unable to recognize people's faces since sustaining cerebral injury in infancy. Investigation of this disorder carried out when K.D. was aged 8 to 11 years showed that although her basic visual abilities were impaired, they were no poorer than those of other children who recognized faces without difficulty. K.D. had learned to read, but had not regained ability to recognize people's faces; instead she relied primarily on voices as a cue to person recognition. There was no evidence of any degree of overt or covert recognition of familiar faces, and K.D. also experienced problems in visual object recognition. She could, however, classify a visual input as a face, was able to perceive and imitate facial expressions, and was able to perform face matching tasks to an extent limited by her use of a feature by feature matching strategy. It is suggested that K.D.'s impairment affected higher order perceptual abilities, and is in a number of respects comparable to the impairments found in adult prosopagnosic patients.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Agnosia / psychology*
  • Attention
  • Brain Damage, Chronic / psychology*
  • Child
  • Discrimination Learning*
  • Dominance, Cerebral
  • Face
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Form Perception*
  • Humans
  • Meningitis, Meningococcal / psychology
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Pattern Recognition, Visual*
  • Psychomotor Performance