Left Hemifield Superiority and the Extraction of Physiognomic Information

  • Paul Bertelson
  • Hélène Vanhaelen
  • José Morais


Data have accumulated in recent years which strongly suggest that the process of identifying human faces is critically dependent on functions for which the minor cerebral hemisphere is specialised. The notion is, in fact, supported by the now familiar pattern of neuropsychological evidence for hemispheric specialisation, which consists of (a) the existence of a specific pathological syndrome, (b) a correlation in brain-damaged patients between measures of the relevant capacity and side of injury, and (c) a perceptual asymmetry demonstrable in normal subjects. In the present case the syndrome is prosopagnosia, a rare condition involving the specific loss of the ability to recognise people from their faces, which is found mainly in patients with damage to the right hemisphere (Bodamer, 1947; Hecaen and Angelergues, 1962; Rondot and Tzavaras, 1969), although some lesion in a so-far unspecified region of the left hemisphere may also be necessary (Meadows, 1974).


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Copyright information

© I. Steele Russell, M. W. van Hof and G. Berlucchi 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul Bertelson
  • Hélène Vanhaelen
  • José Morais

There are no affiliations available

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