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Training face identification in prosopagnosia.
Brain Impairment, 7(2), 160
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Prosopagnosia is the inability to recognise people from face alone, although recognition from other modalities remains intact (Francis, Riddoch, & Humphreys, 2004). It has proved notoriously difficult to treat. We describe the case of VO who presented with impaired face recognition of familiar people following herpes simplex encephalitis. Photographs and semantic information were collected of family and friends that VO had difficulty recognising. Following multiple baseline assessment, eight faces were selected for training. Face identification was trained with the use of a mnemonic and the errorless learning paradigm of expanded rehearsal. Two faces were trained at weekly sessions, in addition to home practise. Recall of all faces was tested at the beginning of each session. Maintenance and generalisation of learning were also assessed. VO was able to correctly name the faces following training. There was evidence of generalisation of learning to different (profile) photographs and learning was maintained in the absence of practise. Results are discussed with respect to semantic relearning and generalisation. Methodological issues of treatment of face and person identification impairments are also discussed.