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Following a review of the stimulus and subject factors which have been found to affect recognition of faces, the question of whether this process can be considered a special one is dealt with. Evidence from studies involving the development of face recognition, the recognition of inverted faces, and the clinical condition prosopagnosia is considered, and in each case found to be inadequate for the unequivocal conclusion that the processes underlying face recognition are qualitatively different from those employed in recognizing other pictorial material.