Friday, May 21, 2010


Face Blindness or Prosopagnosia is a neurological impairment that results in the inability to recognize faces. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, state, "The term prosopagnosia comes from the Greek words for “face” and “lack of knowledge.” They explained that there are many degrees to this impairment. Some may have trouble recognizing familiar faces while others can not distinguish between a face and an object. To some degree some are not even able to recognize their own face. I can't imagine not being able to recognize myself or others around me. This is a crippling disorder.

One of the links in the lecture slides really made me more aware of what this disorder really is. I took the celebrity recognition test and scored an 84% which is one point less then the average. (oops) but it really gave me somewhat of an idea of what can go wrong when you are trying to recognize a face.

The Research Centers at Harvard and the University College London are doing an extensive amount of research on this disorder. They state, "Prosopagnosics often have difficulty recognizing people that they have encountered many times. In extreme cases, prosopagnosics have trouble recognizing even those people that they spend the most time with such as their spouses and their children." A link below demonstrates a person who lives with this disorder and also the link from the lecture slides to take the recognition quiz and also help out with this disorders research!

Prosopagnosia Video


  1. I learned about this disorder in a previous class. I found it to be very interesting and up until I learned about it, I would have never imagined such a disorder would even be possible. I don't know what I would do if I was unable to recognize the people who I surround myself with everyday. It is sad to know that people must suffer from this disorder. It is good, on the other hand, that research is being done to see the causes and maybe in the future treatements of this disorder.

  2. I briefly have read about this topic once before and every time I read about it, it still seems to catch my interest. It's hard to believe that certain individuals can not regonize the differences among faces. What is even more surprising is that these indiviuals can have a difficult time knowing their spouses face or even their own. I too couldn't imagine not knowing the people around me or even my face. I took the face recognition assessment and recieved an 81%. I was surprised to know that my score was alittle below average. Hopefully in the future, these people will find some sort of treatment to deal with their sometimes crippling condition.

  3. I definitely have heard about this disorder before and have always joked around with my parents for not remembering my friends' names but cleary they recognize their faces, just forget their names. I feel that this disorder is very unfortunate and one of the more sad disorders, almost like alzheimer's disease. To think that someone could not possibly determine one's face especially their spouse or family members is heart breaking. I did get a below average score on the celebrity face recognition for reasons of not remembering the names of the faces and a few of which I did not even recognize. Unless someone has something very distinct about their figure or hair, then trying to determine who they are for someone with this disorder at its worst would be impossible. I agree that a treatment if at all possible in the future would be of great relief to the people with the disorder themselves and their affected spouses, family, friends, etc.

  4. I have heard of this disorder before but never really paid much attention to it until I read the first chapter about Dr. P not being able to recognize his students or other objects. It is terrible knowing that this can happen to people, I would be very heart broken if I was not able to recognize people I know, especially my family members. It's great that Harvard and University College London are doing research on this disorder and hopefully will be able to find a cure for it one day.