Deficits in face recognition and consequent quality-of-life factors in individuals with cerebral visual impairment

Corinna M Bauer*, Claire E. Manley, John Ravenscroft, Howard J. Cabral, Daniel Dilks, Peter Bex

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Individuals with cerebral visual impairment (CVI) frequently report challenges with face recognition, and subsequent difficulties with social interactions. However, there is limited empirical evidence supporting poor face recognition in individuals with CVI and the potential impact on social–emotional quality-of-life factors. Moreover, it is unclear whether any difficulties with face recognition represent a broader ventral stream dysfunction. In this web-based study, data from a face recognition task, a glass pattern detection task, and the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) were analyzed from 16 participants with CVI and 25 controls. In addition, participants completed a subset of questions from the CVI Inventory to provide a self-report of potential areas of visual perception that participants found challenging. The results demonstrate a significant impairment in the performance of a face recognition task in participants with CVI compared to controls, which was not observed for the glass pattern task. Specifically, we observed a significant increase in threshold, reduction in the proportion correct, and an increase in response time for the faces, but not for the glass pattern task. Participants with CVI also reported a significant increase in sub-scores of the SDQ for emotional problems and internalizing scores after adjusting for the potential confounding effects of age. Finally, individuals with CVI also reported a greater number of difficulties on items from the CVI Inventory, specifically the five questions and those related to face and object recognition. Together, these results indicate that individuals with CVI may demonstrate significant difficulties with face recognition, which may be linked to quality-of-life factors. This evidence suggests that targeted evaluations of face recognition are warranted in all individuals with CVI, regardless of their age.
Original languageEnglish
Article number9
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jan 2023


  • Cerebral Visual Impairment (CVI)
  • Cortical Visual Impairment (CVI)
  • face recognition
  • ventral stream dysfunction
  • Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire
  • CVI inventory
  • visual perception
  • Glass pattern


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