Compensatory strategies in processing facial emotions: evidence from prosopagnosia.
Baudouin J-Y., Humphreys GW.
We report data on the processing of facial emotion in a prosopagnosic patient (H.J.A.). H.J.A. was relatively accurate at discriminating happy from angry upright faces, but he performed at chance when the faces were inverted. Furthermore, with upright faces there was no configural interference effect on emotion judgements, when face parts expressing different emotions were aligned to express a new emergent emotion. We propose that H.J.A.'s emotion judgements relied on local rather than on configural information, and this local information was disrupted by inversion. A compensatory strategy, based on processing local face parts, can be sufficient to process at least some facial emotions.