Different patterns of famous people recognition disorders in patients with right and left anterior temporal lesions: A systematic review

Guido Gainotti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Selective disorders in recognition of familiar people have been described in patients with right and left anterior temporal lesions, but the exact nature of these cognitive impairments remains controversial. A clarification of this issue could have theoretical implications, because, according to Snowden et al. [Snowden, J. S., Thompson, J. C., & Neary, D. (2004). Knowledge of famous faces and names in semantic dementia. Brain, 127, 860-872], the pattern of impairment shown by patients with right and left anterior temporal atrophy is inconsistent with unitary, abstract, amodal models of semantic memory. This pattern could, on the contrary suggest a multimodal network, in which the right and left temporal lobes would mainly process and store visual and, respectively, verbal information. I tried to clarify this issue by systematically reviewing: (a) all published individual cases of patients showing a prevalent damage of the anterior parts of the right or left temporal lobes and a selective disorder of famous people recognition; (b) all group studies of patients with right or left temporal lobe epilepsy, which had investigated aspects of famous people recognition impairment. Results of these reviews consistently showed that different patterns of impaired recognition of familiar people can be observed in patients with right and left anterior temporal pathology. These patterns consist of a loss of familiarity feelings and of person specific information retrieval from face stimuli, when the right temporal lobe is damaged and of a prevalent impairment in finding their names when the anterior parts of the left temporal lobe are selectively damaged.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1591-1607
Number of pages17
JournalNeuropsychologia
Volume45
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2007

Keywords

  • Anterior temporal lobe lesions
  • Familiar people recognition
  • Fronto-temporal dementia
  • Hemispheric differences
  • Personal semantics
  • Temporal lobe epilepsy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology

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