IMR Press / FBE / Volume 6 / Issue 1 / DOI: 10.2741/E702

Frontiers in Bioscience-Elite (FBE) is published by IMR Press from Volume 13 Issue 2 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.

Accessing stored knowledge of familiar people from faces, names and voices: a review
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1 Department of Psychology, University of Essex, Colchester CO4 3SQ, UK

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Front. Biosci. (Elite Ed) 2014, 6(1), 198–207;
Published: 1 January 2014

Recent findings from neuropsychology and experimental psychology appear incompatible with the claim that feelings of familiarity about known people require activation of amodal person identity nodes. Evidence suggests that there are modality-specific effects after the point at which faces, names and voices have been found familiar. It therefore appears that activation of distinct modality-specific face, name and voice processing systems can signal that a known person is familiar. There is no convincing evidence, however, of modular effects on the way that information about familiar people is represented in semantic memory. Instead, semantic information about people appears to be stored separately from other forms of knowledge such as knowledge of objects. Anatomical evidence suggests that amodal person-specific semantic knowledge is stored in the right anterior temporal lobe where it has close connections with modality specific recognition systems. Failures to retrieve names in proper name anomia may be caused by impairments to the links between semantic knowledge in the right anterior temporal lobe and lexical representations in the left temporal pole.

Person Recognition
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