Congenital prosopagnosia: A case report

Prosopagnosia congênita: relato de caso

Rodrigo Rizek Schultz Paulo Henrique Ferreira Bertolucci About the authors

Abstract

Prosopagnosia is a visual agnosia characterized by an inability to recognize previously known human faces and to learn new faces. The aim of this study was to present a forty-six year-old woman with congenital prosopagnosia, and to discuss the neural bases of perception and recognition of faces. The patients had a lifetime impairment in recognizing faces of family members, close friends, and even her own face in photos. She also had impairment in recognizing animals such as discriminating between cats and dogs. The patient's basic visual skills showed impairment in identifying and recognizing the animal form perception on the coding subtest of the WAIS-R, recognizing overlapping pictures (Luria), and in identifying silhouettes depicting animals and objects (VOSP). Unconventional tests using pictures evidenced impairment in her capacity to identify famous faces, facial emotions and animals. Her face perception abilities were preserved, but recognition could not take place. Therefore, it appears that the agnosia in this case best fits the group of categories termed "associative".

Key words:
prosopagnosia; congenital; agnosia; face recognition

Resumo

Prosopagnosia é uma agnosia visual caracterizada por uma incapacidade de reconhecer faces humanas vistas anteriormente e aprender outras. O objetivo é apresentar uma mulher de 46 anos com prosopagnosia congênita e discutir as bases neurais da percepção e do reconhecimento de faces. Ela nos procurou referindo apresentar desde a infância problemas no reconhecimento de faces de membros da família, amigos próximos e mesmo para sua própria imagem numa fotografia. Também diz apresentar prejuízo no reconhecimento de animais, como discriminar cães de gatos. Apresentou dificuldades em identificar e reconhecer animais desenhados; reconhecer figuras sobrepostas (Luria), incorrendo em paragnosias visuais e identificar silhuetas de animais (VOSP). Em testes não convencionais, usando figuras, evidenciou diminuição da capacidade em identificar faces famosas, expressões faciais e animais, mas não em estimar o sexo e a idade das pessoas. Concluindo, suas habilidades perceptuais para face estão preservadas, mas há um déficit de reconhecimento. Tudo indica que sua agnosia pertence ao grupo das associativas.

Palavras-chave:
prosopagnosia; congenital; agnosia; reconhecimento de face

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Publication Dates

  • Publication in this collection
    Jan-Mar 2011

History

  • Received
    10 Dec 2010
  • Accepted
    10 Feb 2011
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