Sunday, June 23, 2024


Imagine for a moment being unable to recognize or distinguish the features of the faces of those you trust most. Sounds like John Hamm's fate in an episode of Black Mirror. However, this condition, known as Prosopagnosia (or face blindness) is very real, and some believe it effects over 10 million Americans today. How does this condition work, and what causes it?

Prosopagnosia isn't an issue with vision, instead it is an issue with how the brain interprets faces. It occurs from a lesion to the brain fusiform gyrus, an area spanning the temporal and occipital lobes of the brain. It can also be genetic in some cases. There are two versions of this condition, one which disables the ability to understand facial cues known as apperceptive prosopagnosia. There is also a far more extreme version, associative prosopagnosia, which renders the brain unable to differentiate between faces, as they all look alike. As you could imagine, this condition makes it difficult for those who have it to socialize normally as recognizing different faces is obviously a major factor in communication. There is currently no cure for this condition, however perceptual training may allow for some ability to perceive faces normally again. 

Interesting short video on the condition

Cleveland Clinic. “Face Blindness (Prosopagnosia).” Cleveland Clinic, 7 July 2022,

1 comment:

  1. This was so interesting! Prosopagnosia is definitely not talked about often and I certainly just learned about it. This makes me think that most of us take friendship, dating, work and school life for granted. I wonder what those individuals do to differentiate people from each other.