Face recognition and word reading are thought to be mediated by relatively independent cognitive systems lateralized to the right and left hemisphere respectively. In this case, we should expect a higher incidence of face recognition problems in patients with right hemisphere injury and a higher incidence of reading problems in patients with left hemisphere injury. We tested this hypothesis in a group of 31 patients with unilateral right or left hemisphere infarcts in the territory of the posterior cerebral arteries. In most domains tested (e.g., visual attention, object recognition, visuo-construction, motion perception), we found that both patient groups performed significantly worse than a matched control group. In particular we found a significant number of face recognition deficits in patients with left hemisphere injury and a significant number of patients with word reading deficits following right hemisphere injury. This suggests that face recognition and word reading may be mediated by more bilaterally distributed neural systems than is commonly assumed.
Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 2014, Vol 26, Issue 5, p. 550-558