Poster E89, Monday, March 26, 2:30-4:30 pm, Exhibit Hall C
Developmental perceptual impairments: when tone-deafness and prosopagnosia co-occur
Sebastien Paquette1, Hui Charles Li1, Stephanie Buss1, Gottfried Schlaug1; 1Music and Neuroimaging Laboratory, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School
Studies have shown subtle gray and white matter abnormalities in subjects with several developmental disorders including prosopagnosia, tone-deafness, and dyslexia. Tone-deafness and dyslexia are known to co-occur, suggesting a possible link between these developmental disorders. However, it is not known whether tone-deafness can also be associated with prosopagnosia. We addressed this question by assessing face perception abilities in a group of tone-deaf individuals and non-tone-deaf controls. The Cambridge and Warrington Face Memory Tests were used to assess face processing in a combined group of 12, out of which six were considered to be tone-deaf according to the Montreal battery of evaluation of amusia. Only tone-deaf participants (two) scored in the impaired range on the Cambridge test and one also on the Warrington Face Memory Test. Furthermore, the global melodic composite score of the Montreal battery of all participants significantly correlated with the face recognition score of the Cambridge Face Memory Test. Our results suggest that tone-deafness might co-occur with face perception impairments. It is implausible that both deficits can be linked to a single cognitive dysfunction that spans different perceptual systems in different modalities. Rather, they are likely associated with a common pathogenetic mechanism of early development that leads to anomalies, affecting the local function of different brain systems or the connection between regions.
Topic Area: PERCEPTION & ACTION: Audition