Brain imaging research has identified at least two regions in human extrastriate cortex responding selectively to faces. One of these is located in the mid-fusiform gyrus (FFA), the other in the inferior occipital gyrus (IOG). We studied activation of these areas using fMRI in three individuals with severely impaired face recognition (one pure developmental and two childhood prosopagnosics). None of the subjects showed the normal pattern of higher fMRI activity to faces than to objects in the FFA and IOG or elsewhere. Moreover, in two of the patients, faces and objects produced similar activations in the regions corresponding to where the FFA and IOG are found in normal subjects. Our study casts light on the important role of FFA and IOG in the network of areas involved in face recognition, and indicates limits of brain plasticity.