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The acquisition of face and person identity information following anterior temporal lobectomy


Thirty unilateral anterior temporal lobectomy (ATL) subjects (15 right and 15 left) and 15 controls were presented a multitrial learning task in which unfamiliar faces were paired with biographical information (occupation, city location, and a person's name). Face recognition hits were similar between groups, but the right ATL group committed more false-positive errors to face foils. Both left and right ATL groups were impaired relative to controls in acquiring biographical information, but the deficit was more pronounced for the left ATL group. Recall levels also varied for the different types of biographical information; occupation was most commonly recalled followed by city name and person name. In addition, city and person name recall was more likely when occupation was also recalled. Overall, recall of biographical information was positively correlated with clinical measures of anterograde episodic memory. Findings are discussed in terms of the role of the temporal lobe and associative learning ability in the successful acquisition of new face semantic (biographical) representations. (JINS, 2005, 11, 237–248.)

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Reprint requests to: Michael Seidenberg, Rosalind Franklin University, Department of Psychology, 3333 Green Bay Road, North Chicago, IL 60064. E-mail:
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Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society
  • ISSN: 1355-6177
  • EISSN: 1469-7661
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