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Selective impairment of facial recognition due to a haematoma restricted to the right fusiform and lateral occipital region
  1. Y Wada,
  2. T Yamamoto
  1. Department of Neurology, Osaka Saiseikai Nakatsu Hospital, Japan
  1. Dr Y Wada, Department of Neurology, Tenri Hospital, 200 Mishima, Tenri, Nara 632-8552, Japan


A 67 year old right handed Japanese man developed prosopagnosia caused by a haemorrhage. His only deficit was the inability to perceive and discriminate unfamiliar faces, and to recognise familiar faces. He did not show deficits in visual or visuospatial perception of non-facial stimuli, alexia, visual agnosia, or topographical disorientation. Brain MRI showed a haematoma limited to the right fusiform and the lateral occipital region. Single photon emission computed tomography confirmed that there was no decreased blood flow in the opposite left cerebral hemisphere. The present case indicates that a well placed small right fusiform gyrus and the adjacent area can cause isolated impairment of facial recognition. As far as we know, there has been no published case that has demonstrated this exact lesion site, which was indicated by recent functional MRI studies as the most critical area in facial recognition.

  • prosopagnosia
  • magnetic resonance imaging
  • single photon emission computed tomography
  • right fusiform gyrus

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