Face memory and its disorders

Steven Z. Rapcsak

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Face recognition is an essential biologic and social skill. Accurate recognition depends on the ability to encode, store, and retrieve distinct memory representations for the faces of countless individuals encountered in everyday life. In addition, face memory records must be integrated with specific biographic and name information in order to allow the recognition of each person's unique identity. Converging evidence from functional imaging, cortical electrical recording, and neuropsychologic studies suggests that face memory operations in the human brain are mediated by a distributed neural system. Components of this network include specialized memory storage sites within temporal neocortex that interact with medial temporal lobe and prefrontal cortical areas during face memory encoding and retrieval. Selective damage to these neuroanatomic regions gives rise to face recognition disorders characterized by memory loss or memory distortion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)494-501
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Neurology and Neuroscience Reports
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Neurology


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