Dr. Kirsten Dalrymple

Research Associate
Institute of Child Development
University of Minnesota
51 East River Parkway
Minneapolis, MN

email kad [at]

Minneapolis +1 (612) 624 6805

St. Paul +1 (612) 626 2959

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I am currently located at the Institute of Child Development at the University of Minnesota, where I am working in the E-Lab with Dr. Jed Elison.

I am very excited to continue my research on developmental prosopagnosia in children at the Institute, while continuing an active collaboration with Brad Duchaine and the Social Perception Lab in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at Dartmouth College

I am also an Associate Investigator with the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders.

Focus of Research

My research interests involve the study of normal and abnormal visual perception. My primary research is aimed at studying developmental prosopagnosia in children. Developmental prosopagnosia (DP) is the inability to recognize faces without any known brain injury or anomaly, a condition that is estimated to affect about 2% of the general population.

Research on DP with adult participants has led to important findings about the cognitive, neural, and genetic bases of DP, yet little has been done to study this condition in children. This is surprising given that DP is due to a failure to develop the mechanisms necessary for face recognition and therefore emerges early in life. Critically, the study of DP in children will allow us answer important questions about abnormal and normal face perception, and the function and development of the visual system in general. Learning about the etiology and progression of DP may also lead to deeper understanding of other selective developmental deficits such as dyslexia, dyscalculia, and specific language impairment.

Three primary goals of my research on childhood DP are to 1) develop diagnostic tools, 2) study its developmental trajectory, and 3) identify and treat individuals with DP.

Click here to learn about developmental prosopagnosia in childhood.

Sign up here for email updates regarding research on face blindness in children.


My other research interests involve investigating the neural mechanisms of visual perception through the study of adults with abnormal high-level vision (e.g. acquired prosopagnosia, prosopometamorphopsia, simultanagnosia, etc...)

Do you think that your child may be face blind? Email me at

Tests of Face Perception for Children and the Dartmouth Database of Children's Faces (DDCF)

During the process of developing tests of face perception for children, we took photos of over 120 children. These children posed 8 different facial expressions and were photographed from 5 different camera angles, under controlled lighting conditions. These facial expressions were rated for their believability by 20 independent raters. The top 40 female and 40 male models were included in a freely available database for use in research studies. To find out more about, or request access to the database, click here. Some of our tests of face perception are also available for download upon request.


Brief CV:



Courses taught

Honors and Awards


*These authors contributed equally.

Media attention

2016 - "'Tunnel vision' doesn't begin to describe this woman's sight" BBC Future.

2016 - "What is face blindness? Face blindness, or prosopagnosia, is more than just "being bad with faces"" -

2015 - "This real medical condition makes people see dragons!" -

2014 - "Face blindness – when you can't recognise a familiar face" – The Guardian, UK



Page last updated December 13, 2018