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Face deficit holds object lesson

Recognizing mugs may not be special in the brain

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4:45pm, December 16, 2011

A brain-damaged man who can’t remember faces has nosed into a scientific debate about how people learn to recognize other complex objects. Deaf users of sign language also have a hand in this dispute.

The brain-damaged man’s facial failures are one symptom of a general inability to perceive configurations of object parts, suggests a new investigation led by psychologist Cindy Bukach of the University of Richmond in Virginia. The man thus stumbles at identifying not only people’s faces but also computer-generated, three-part objects called Greebles, even after extensive train

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