Impairment of the face processing network in congenital prosopagnosia

Galia Avidan, Marlene Behrmann

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The goal of the current paper is to review recent findings concerning the neural basis of congenital prosopagnosia (CP), a lifelong impairment in face processing that occurs in the absence of explicit brain damage. As such, CP offers a unique model for exploring the psychological and neural bases of normal face processing. We start by providing background about face perception and representation, and then review behavioral evidence gleaned from individuals with CP. We then review recent functional and structural neural investigations which offer a comprehensive account of the mechanisms underlying CP and support a characterization of this impairment as a disconnection syndrome rather than as a syndrome related to focal brain malfunction. We end the paper by offering a general framework for CP which, we believe, best integrates the behavioral and neural findings, and offers a platform for generating hypotheses for future studies. There remain many open issues in our understanding of CP and, to address these unanswered questions, we lay out several future research directions and testable hypotheses for further investigation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)236-257
Number of pages22
JournalFrontiers in Bioscience - Elite
Volume6 E
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2014


  • Face processing
  • Functional connectivity
  • Neurodevelopmental disorders
  • Prosopagnosia
  • Review
  • Ventral visual cortex

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)


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