Sunday, June 6, 2010
Out of all the objects we see in a lifetime, we see faces the most. We unconciously can recognize aspects about people based on their faces such as their identity, mood, age, gender, race, and state of attention. Can you imagine not being able to recognize anyone's face? When the abillity to recognize faces is impaired, while the ability to recognize other objects may be intact, is a disorder of face perception known as prosopagnosia. Prosopganosia is caused from a stroke or genetic disorder. It is not uncommon to have a stroke in the lateral fusiform gyrus of the right hemisphere, which destroys the face processing capacity. Victims who suffer from facial blindness usually can not recognize their own faces.
Although, their is no conscious recognition taking place for people with this disorder, they may still have emotional responses to people they see that would usually be familiar to them.
The quickest way to identify someone is using their face because the brain has a special processor that will identify the person you are looking at within milliseconds. But, what are other ways to recognize someone who suffers from prosopagnosia? You may simply ask who they are, the sound of their voice, body language, ask leading questions, sometimes clothes, and people tend to speak about things they have talked about before is helpful in recognizing people.
The video below shows a woman who suffers from prosopagnosia. She is seen taking a picture of her mother, and then moments later has pictures infront of her, including the one she took, and is asked to identify her mother. Enjoy!