Alzheimer’s Patients Suffer from Face Perception Impairment, Study Finds

Alzheimer’s Patients Suffer from Face Perception Impairment, Study Finds
Face recognition difficulties in Alzheimer's patients have typically been attributed to underlying episodic and semantic memory impairment. Dr. Sven Joubert, Ph.D., from the Centre de recherche de l'Institut universitaire de gériatrie de Montréal, and colleagues have found that more than causing memory problems, Alzheimer's also impairs visual face perception, a finding that might help families better understand their loved one's difficulties. The article, "A Qualitative Impairment in Face Perception in Alzheimer's Disease: Evidence from a Reduced Face Inversion Effect," was published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease. Face perception is critical in human communication, and humans have evolved to be able to quickly identify faces. Face perception is believed to depend on the skill to perceive a face as a whole (holistic perception). This ability is in contrast to the local and detailed analysis required to perceive individual facial features, such as the nose, the mouth or the eyes. To determine if Alzheimer's patients are also impaired at the perceptual level for faces -- specifically at extracting a visual representation of an individual face -- Joubert and his colleagues investigated the matching of simultaneou
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