Deficits in face perception in the amnestic form of mild cognitive impairment.
Lim, TS; Lee, HY; Barton, JJ; Moon, SY
Journal of the neurological sciences, 309(1-2):123-127, 2011
Journal of the neurological sciences
The fusiform gyrus is involved pathologically at an early stage of the amnestic form of mild cognitive impairment (aMCI), and is also known to be involved in the perceptual stage of face processing. We assessed face perception in patients with aMCI to determine if this cognitive skill was impaired. We compared 12 individuals (4 men) with aMCI and 12 age- and education-matched healthy controls on the ability to discriminate changes in the spatial configuration or color of the eyes or the mouth in faces. Patients with aMCI performed less quickly and accurately for all changes on trials with limited viewing duration. With unlimited duration, they could achieve normal perceptual accuracy for configural changes to the mouth, but remained impaired for changes to eye color or configuration. Patients with aMCI show deficits in face perception that are more pronounced for the highly salient ocular region, a pattern similar to that seen in acquired prosopagnosia. This form of perceptual impairment may be an early marker of additional cognitive deficits beyond memory in aMCI.
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