Understanding provoked overt recognition in prosopagnosia

Donald J. Morrison, Vicki Bruce, A. Mike Burton*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Prosopagnosic patients are unable to recognize overtly the faces of familiar people. However, under specific experimental conditions, overt recognition of faces has been induced in some prosopagnosics. This phenomenon of provoked overt recognition has proved challenging for current theories of face recognition. We first describe clinical demonstrations of provoked overt recognition, before high-lighting some critical features that any satisfactory explanation of the phenomenon must accommodate. An account of provoked overt recognition is then put forward, couched within the framework of Burton, Bruce, and Johnston's (1990) IAC model of face recognition. This theory is tested by running computer simulations with the model. Finally, the present explanation of provoked overt recognition is scrutinized to discover whether it has implications for rehabilitation work with prosopagnosic patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-65
Number of pages19
JournalVisual Cognition
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


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