Implicit attitudes in prosopagnosia

Kristine M. Knutson*, Karen A. DeTucci, Jordan Grafman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


We studied a male with acquired prosopagnosia using a battery of Implicit Association Tests (IATs) to investigate whether observing faces varying by social category would activate the patient's implicit social biases. We also asked him to categorize faces explicitly by race, gender, and political party. The patient, G.B., was marginally slower to categorize black compared to white faces. He showed congruency effects in the race and celebrity IATs, but not in the gender or political IATs. These results indicate that G.B. possesses an implicit social sensitivity to certain facial stimuli despite an inability to overtly recognize familiar faces. The results demonstrate that social biases can be retrieved based on facial stimuli via pathways bypassing the fusiform gyri. Thus the IAT effect can be added to the list of covert recognition effects found in prosopagnosia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1851-1862
Number of pages12
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jun 2011


  • Brain lesions
  • Implicit attitudes
  • Prosopagnosia
  • Social cognition
  • Traumatic brain injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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