Prosopagnosia - Face Blindness

Prosopagnosia, sometimes called face blindness, may be present from childhood

This is a pretty rare disorder,Individuals with this type often do not realize until they are older that they are unable to recognize faces as well as other people do. A recent study conducted in Germany surveyed the face recognition abilities of a large group of students, and reported a prevalence rate of 2-2.5%. That is, as many as one in 50 people may suffer from developmental prosopagnosia. If this figure is correct, there may be 1.5 million prosopagnosics in the UK alone.


Prosopagnosia is thought to be the result of abnormalities, damage, or impairment in the right fusiform gyrus, a fold in the brain that appears to coordinate the neural systems that control facial perception and memory but It’s not a memory problem. Acquired prosopagnosia may occur after brain damage from head injury, stroke, or neurodegenerative diseases. Individuals with this type had normal face recognition abilities in the past, but this has been impaired or lost due to brain injury.

It would be pretty easy to figure out if you have this problem without taking a test. It causes some pretty bizarre situations where you keep treating people you know like they are strangers because you don't recognize them.Many people occasionally fail to recognise a familiar face, or even mistake an unknown person for someone they know. However, individuals with prosopagnosia have a severe face recognition deficit, affecting even the most familiar faces, such as their spouse or children.


Individuals with prosopagnosia must learn other ways of remembering faces. Clues such as hair, voice, and clothes may help identify people. Some prosopagnosics have reported avoidance of social interactions, problems with interpersonal relationships, damage to career, and even depression. In extreme cases, prosopagnosics may develop social anxiety disorder, characterized by fear and avoidance of social situations that may cause embarrassment. Many individuals with the disorder report difficulty watching movies and television shows since they cannot identify the characters from one scene in the next. Researchers are working on ways to help individuals with prosopagnosia improve their face recognition.

There is no formal treatment for prosopagnosia. However, many researchers are now working in this area, and you may be able to take part in a study investigating prosopagnosia. Some research focuses on advancing our understanding of the causes and basis of prosopagnosia, whereas other investigators are examining the effectiveness of training programmes designed to improve face recognition.

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