Woman with 'face blindness' can't recognise her own children (2022)

A woman who can't recognise her husband or children's faces - and sometimes even struggles to identify herself in photos - due to an unusual condition has revealed how people thought she was just 'up herself'.

Lulu Rose, who lives near Auckland, suffers fromprosopagnosia - also known as 'face blindness' that affects about one in 50 people.

While Lulu can see faces as normal, she can't remember them - even if she's seen them hundreds of times.

Instead, she uses other factors like a person's voice and smell to identify them.

Lulu Rose, who lives near Auckland in New Zealand, suffers from prosopagnosia - also known as 'face blindness' that affects around one in 50 people

Lulu has lived with the condition unknowingly for most of her life, thinking it was normal until 10 years ago, when, aged 40, she overheard someone discussing the condition on TV.

'Growing up I didn't realise it wasn't something that other people have,' she told FEMAIL.

'Ten years ago, I was with someone who was watching TV and this person was discussing how they were working in an office and when someone wasn't at their desk, they couldn't find them.

'My ears pricked up - I'd had the exact same experience.

'The person on TV then talked about meeting people at the airport. He was saying hehad trouble.

'I had a huge revelation. Someone had put it into words what I'd always felt.

While she can see faces as normal, Lulu (centre, pictured with friends) can't remember them, even if she's seen them hundreds of times

'I googled it afterwards, and there was still a fair bit of information out there.

'I then did an online test. The results said I had that said I had face blindness, and I told my family and friends.

'They all said "no wonder" we always thought you were up yourself or too lazy to learn faces'.

What is prosopagnosia?

Prosopagnosia, or face blindness, is a disorder of face perception where the ability to recognize faces is impaired, while the ability to recognize other objects may be relatively intact.

The term originally referred to a condition following acute brain damage.

About two per cent of the population suffer from some sort of facial blindness

Few successful therapies have so far been developed for affected people, although individuals often learn to use 'piecemeal' or 'feature by feature' recognition strategies.

This may involve secondary clues such as clothing, gait, hair colour, body shape, and voice.

Because the face seems to function as an important identifying feature in memory, it can also be difficult for people with this condition to keep track of information about people, and socialise normally with others.

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Lulu, who works as a flight attendant, often recognises people by their voice, what they're wearing, or from context.

Sometimes, if a person has a distinctive feature - such a big eyebrows or colourful glasses - she'll remember them that way.

(Video) I'm Face Blind, And I Can't Recognise My Own Family

'I won't say I have super powers, but I definitely have a heightened sense for voices', she said.

Growing up, Lulu found it extra difficult to recognise her friends as their faces changed.

She'd recognise them from the shoes they wore, and the hair ties they'd use.

'One would always have a green hair tie, another would use pink baubles, another had sandals'.

Today, she still uses a lot of context clues.

'If I walk into my house and a man who is 50-odd years old and is standing there, he's most likely my husband.

'If we got to a café and there are four men of his age in similar clothing, I couldn't tell who he was.

'It's like a game of Guess Who.

'I scan them quickly and deduce.

'Most of the time, he'll look at me and smile and I'll know.

'But sometimes he plays tricks on me and ignore me. There have been many awkward times where I've sat down with strangers.

'I use to sneak up behind and hug people, and I've done that with the wrong person before.

'But now I never make the first move, I never smile at anyone on the street.'

Lulu can't recognise her children or husband in a photo - and would struggle to even pick herself out of a line-up.

'If I remember the outfit, or it being taken, I'd be able to know it was me,' she said.

'Every time I meet someone I tell them beforehand "I'm wearing a red coat , black top" but they'll never say something similar back.

Lulu (pictured) also says that her children Lena, 29, and Alex, 31, would play tricks on her when they were teenagers.

'My first husband - who I had my two children with - would get frustrated.

'He knew everyone, he was the mayor of neighbourhood and didn't like it when I couldn't remember everyone we met.

'Whenever we watched TV as a family, I'd get lost, we'd have to rewind and everyone would gang up on me.

'But my second husband - I'd met him already when I was diagnosed - so he understands better. He'll pause the TV every 15 minutes to make sure I understand what's going on.;

Lulu also says that her childrenLena, 29, and Alex, 31, would play tricks on her when they were teenagers.

'When they were little it wasn't so bad, I didn't know it was a thing.

'It was only when they got older and started dressing themselves, so I didn't recognise their clothes, that they'd play tricks.

Growing up, Lulu (pictured with her husband) found it difficult to recognise her friends as their faces changed. She'd recognise them from the shoes they wore, and the hair ties they'd use

'They would walk past me in crowds.

'My daughter use to have the same group of friends come round from high school.

'I'd recognise them by different features, there was a blonde one, a tall one, etc.

(Video) Face Blindness, part 1

'I'd assign their names a feature, one was Matt with the hat.

'One time she had him over, but he wasn't wearing the that, and I said "you have to introduce me to your friend" and she said "Mum that's Matt, you've met him heaps of times".'

Dramatic hair cuts and makeovers can also leave Lulu confused.

'There was a guy at my university with long hair and a beard,' she says.

'One day he came and had a short hair and no beard.

'And I didn't recognise him!

'It took talking to him every day for a week to realise it was the same person.'

Lulu hasn't been to the doctor as 'there's nothing they can to do about it'.

'I haven't told people until recently, the main reason I want to tell my storyis there are so many people with it that have sad reclusive lives. They won't go out and meet people because of the embarrassment.

'Tomy knowledge I haven't met anyone else with it.

'But I joined a Facebook group after I recognised someone by their feet.

'I told them they were similar to someone else's feet and they called me a "freak".

'But that's a good way to recognise people when you live in a place like New Zealand where people are often barefoot.

'There's varying degrees of it, some people can't recognise themselves in the mirror, mine is really just mild to moderate.'

Brad Pitt details his battle with self-diagnosed 'face blindness' condition prosopagnosia which makes it difficult to recognise people (even his own family!)

Brad Pitt has detailed his struggle with a rare 'face blindness' condition - admitting that 'nobody believes' him when he talks about it.

The actor, 58, believes he suffers from prosopagnosia, an inability to recognize faces that usually affects the person for most or all of their life.

Many people with the condition can't even recognize family members, partners or friends andcope by using alternative ways to recognizepeople, such as remembering the way they walk, or their hairstyle, voice or clothing.

While Brad has not been formally diagnosed with the condition he has long believed himself to be a sufferer and admitted he worries that it's led to people thinking he's remote or aloof around people.

He told GQ magazine:'Nobody believes me! I wanna meet another [person with the prosopagnosia].'

Struggles:Brad Pitt has detailed his struggle with a rare 'face blindness' condition - admitting that 'nobody believes' him when he talks about it

Brad previously spoke about his battle with the condition in 2013, telling Esquire:'So many people hate me because they think I'm disrespecting them.

'Every now and then, someone will give me context, and I'll say, "Thank you for helping me." But I p**s more people off.'

He continued: 'You get this thing, like, "you're being egotistical. You're being conceited." But it's a mystery to me, man.

(Video) From the 60 Minutes Archive: Face Blindness

'I can't grasp a face, and yet I come from such a design/aesthetic point of view. I am going to get it tested.'

In 2017 a study has found that children who were considered underweight when they were born are poorer at recognizing faces when they are older.

Researchers believe having a low weight at birth is linked to impairments in the way parts of the brain develop, including those areas that deal with visual information.

Aloof:Brad (pictured in 2016) has long believed himself to be a sufferer and admitted he worries that it's led to people thinking he's remote or aloof around people

About 2.5 per cent of the population is thought to be affected to some degree, with comedian Stephen Fry and former Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt among those who have admitted suffering from face blindness.

Elsewhere in his GQ interview, Brad gave a bleak assessment of the human condition as he moves on from the collapse of his five year marriage to actress Angelina Jolie.

The Hollywood star embraced a life of abstinence that began shortly after their divorce was initiated in 2016, and explained his newfound positivity is tempered by the belief that all of us experience wrenching heartache at some point in our lives.

'I think all our hearts are broken,' he said. 'I always felt very alone in my life, alone growing up as a kid, alone even out here, and it’s really not till recently that I have had a greater embrace of my friends and family.

'What’s that line, it was either Rilke or Einstein, believe it or not, but it was something about when you can walk with the paradox, when you carry real pain and real joy simultaneously, this is maturity, this is growth.'

Despite the overriding sense of isolation, he admitted to finding community and friendship through his decision to give up alcohol in 2016.

Newly divorced, the actor spent 18-months attending regular Alcoholics Anonymous meetings while embracing the group's core principles of abstinence from all mind altering substances.

'I had a really cool men’s group here that was really private and selective, so it was safe,' he explained. 'Because I’d seen things of other people who had been recorded while they were spilling their guts, and that’s just atrocious to me.'

Exes:Elsewhere in his GQ interview, Brad gave a bleak assessment of the human condition as he moves on from the collapse of his five year marriage to actress Angelina Jolie (pictured in 2007)

Brad, a lifelong smoker, also made the decision to cut cigarettes out of his life, opting instead to substitute tobacco with nicotine flavoured gum.

'I don’t have that ability to do just one or two a day,' he said of his past smoking habit. 'It’s not in my makeup. I’m all in. And I’m going to drive into the ground. I’ve lost my privileges.'

However a sense of impending doom is ever-present, and Pitt admits he is frequently tortured by the same recurring dream, in which he is brutally stabbed.

'For a solid four or five years there, the most predominant dream I would experience would be getting jumped and stabbed,' he explained in an email to GQ.

'And I would awake in a terror. I didn’t understand why it/they would want to hurt me. This stopped a year or two ago only when I started going straight back into the dream and asking simply why?'

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DO YOU HAVE FACE BLINDNESS? TAKE THE TEST TO FIND OUT

The following statements inquire about your face recognition abilities.

For each item, indicate how much you agree or disagree by choosing the appropriate numbered response on a scale of one to five.

One represents you strongly agree while five represents you strongly disagree.

Read each item carefully before responding and answer as honestly as possible.

1. My face recognition ability is worse than most people

2. I have always had a bad memory for faces

3. I find it noticeably easier to recognise people who have distinctive facial features

4. I often mistake people I have met before for strangers

5. When I was at school I struggled to recognise my classmates

6. When people change their hairstyle, or wear hats, I have problems recognising them

7. I sometimes have to warn new people I meet that I am 'bad with faces'

8. I find it easy to picture individual faces in my mind

9. I am better than most people at putting a 'name to a face'

10. Without hearing people's voices I struggle to recognise them

11. Anxiety about face recognition has led me to avoid social or professional situations

12. I have to try harder than other people to memorise faces

13. I am very confident in my ability to recognise myself in photographs

14. I sometimes find movies hard to follow because of difficulties recognising characters

15. My friends and family think I have bad face recognition or bad face memory

16. I feel like I frequently offend people by not recognising who they are

17. It is easy for me to recognise individuals in situations that require people to wear similar clothes (e.g. suits, uniforms, swimwear)

18. At family gatherings I sometimes confuse individual family members

19. I find it easy to recognise celebrities in 'before-they-were-famous' pictures, even if they have changed considerably

20. It is hard to recognise familiar people when I meet them out of context (e.g. meeting a work colleague unexpectedly while shopping

Scoring:

For each question, other than those named below score one point 1-5 (with one being strongly disagree and 5 being strongly agree)

Items 8, 9, 13, 17 and 19 should be reverse scored. i.e., 5 = 1; 4 = 2; 3 = 3; 2 = 4; 1 = 5 2.

Add together the numbered responses to calculate a score between 20 (unimpaired face recognition) to 100 (severely impaired face recognition)

Source: Medical Research Centre

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(Video) My husband has FACE BLINDNESS & we are snowed in with a killer, now he can’t tell who’s the wife BAM

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(Video) The man who can't recognise his wife and children because he's 'face blind'

FAQs

Can prosopagnosia recognize their own face? ›

Some people with prosopagnosia cannot recognise certain facial expressions, judge a person's age or gender, or follow a person's gaze. Others may not even recognise their own face in the mirror or in photos. Prosopagnosia can affect a person's ability to recognise objects, such as places or cars.

What is face blindness answers? ›

What is face blindness? Face blindness, also known as prosopagnosia, refers to a neurological disorder characterized by the inability to recognize familiar faces. When looking at a face, people with face blindness understand that they are viewing a face; however, they cannot identify individuals.

What part of the brain is damaged when a person has face blindness or prosopagnosia? ›

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. Prosopagnosia can result from stroke, traumatic brain injury, or certain neurodegenerative diseases.

What does someone with prosopagnosia have trouble doing? ›

Prosopagnosia is a condition where you struggle to recognize faces or can't interpret facial expressions and cues. It usually happens because of brain damage, but some people have it at birth.

What famous actor has prosopagnosia? ›

The actor Brad Pitt said in a recent interview that he has prosopagnosia, a rare neurological disorder commonly referred to as face blindness. While Mr. Pitt, 58, has never been formally diagnosed with the condition, he said in an interview with GQ that he had struggled for years to recognize people's faces.

What actor has face blindness? ›

In a new interview with GQ magazine, Pitt said that he thinks he has prosopagnosia, an extremely rare neurological condition that makes it difficult to tell faces apart. "Nobody believes me!" said Pitt, 58, who has not been officially diagnosed.

What part of the brain is responsible for face recognition? ›

Face-selective neurons have been found in the amygdala, indicating that this region plays an important role in face recognition (Kosaka et al., 2003). Todorov (2012) proposed that the role of the amygdala in face perception is to motivate the brain to pay attention to novel socially meaningful stimuli (faces).

How do we recognize faces? ›

The temporal lobe of the brain is partly responsible for our ability to recognize faces. Some neurons in the temporal lobe respond to particular features of faces. Some people who suffer damage to the temporal lobe lose their ability to recognize and identify familiar faces. This disorder is called prosopagnosia.

How do you remember people's faces? ›

To help you remember someone's face, look for unique features, like scars, an unusual hairstyle, or funny laugh. You can also repeat their name in your head while looking at their face to help you remember them. For more tips, including how to improve your general memory, read on!

What does it mean when you can't remember someone's face? ›

Face blindness, or prosopagnosia, is a brain disorder. It's characterized by the inability to recognize or differentiate faces. People with face blindness may struggle to notice differences in faces of strangers. Others may even have a hard time recognizing familiar faces.

What strategies could a person with prosopagnosia employ to compensate for the inability to recognize faces? ›

Less commonly, acquired prosopagnosia may result from brain damage due to stroke , head trauma, or neurodegenerative disease, adds Dr. Duchaine. To compensate for not recognizing faces, people learn to use cues like hairstyle, gait, or voice to identify others, he says.

Why can't I recognize my own face? ›

True face-blindness is caused by an impairment in the right hemisphere of the brain that specifically identifies faces. For me, the world is a sea of unfamiliar faces. If you suddenly developed prosopagnosia, it would be very frightening, but I've always had it, so it's all I've known.

Does prosopagnosia affect memory? ›

Subjects with this condition fail to develop face recognition skills despite otherwise normal vision and memory, and do not have obvious lesions on brain imaging. Developmental prosopagnosia may have a genetic basis.

How can I help someone with prosopagnosia? ›

Identify others through conversation:
  1. Ask people to introduce themselves.
  2. Repeat a person's name during conversation.
  3. Introduce oneself first and hope they do the same.
  4. Use the topic of conversation as a cue to identity.
  5. Use general small talk to cue identity.
  6. Gauge a person's reaction to the conversation.

What does face blindness feel like? ›

Face-blindness is generally accompanied by a raft of problems, including a lack of interest in people, social anxiety, inattentiveness, and various phobias (Sacks avoided conferences or large gatherings).

How common is prosopagnosia? ›

The researchers, led by Ken Nakayama and Richard Russell at Harvard and Bradley Duchaine at University College London, have found evidence that prosopagnosia, once thought to be exceedingly rare, may affect up to 2 percent of the population – suggesting that millions of people may be face-blind.

Is face blindness a symptom of autism? ›

Face blindness, or prosopagnosia, is a condition that can be acquired through a brain injury, but it is also closely associated with developmental disorders like autism. About 40% of people with autism have prosopagnosia symptoms.

Does Brad Pitt have a daughter? ›

Brad Pitt

What color are Brad Pitt's eyes? ›

Brad Pitt's Piercing Blue Eyes Are Front and Center on 'GQ Style's Summer Issue - See the 3 Covers!

Why is face recognition so important? ›

As you may or may not know, facial recognition is a biometric form of technology used to identify human faces. By scanning an individual's face, it will confirm their identity. This could mean that an individual can't have multiple driver's licenses, state IDs or could be identified within a law enforcement database.

Why is it important to recognize faces? ›

Faces convey a wealth of information that is critical to social interactions, such as identity and emotion. Moreover, because all faces contain the same features (eyes, nose, mouth) in the same general configuration (eyes above nose, nose above mouth), distinguishing between individuals is a visually demanding task.

Is the ability to recognize faces important? ›

Face recognition is also central to our reliance on photographs to demonstrate our identity in driver's licenses and passports. The ability to recognize faces is especially important in some occupations, and research in recent years has shown that people vary greatly in their ability to recognize faces.

How many faces can a person recognize? ›

The average person can recognize 5000 faces.

How long does it take to recognize a face? ›

Here, we find that recognizing faces takes around 190 ms in addition. What happens during this additional time? Three main hypotheses can be formulated. First, the ability to rapidly recognize familiar faces could rely on the same feed-forward mechanisms that have been posited for superordinate categorization.

What makes someone recognizable? ›

A recognizable person is someone you can identify or be immediately aware of. American tourists are often recognizable because most of them only speak English (and wear fanny packs). Some things or people are recognizable because they stand out sharply.

What part of the brain remembers names? ›

Psychologists have found a way to improve the recall of proper names. In a recent study, she found that electric stimulation of the right anterior temporal lobe of the brain improved the recall of proper names in young adults by 11 percent.

How do you remember your last name? ›

5 steps to remembering names
  1. Stop saying that you're bad at names. ...
  2. Say their name back to them. ...
  3. Make associations in your head. ...
  4. Say their name slowly and intentionally one more time before parting ways. ...
  5. If you do forget, own up to it and ask.
11 Aug 2021

How many names can a person remember? ›

There's no known limit! If you ask a mnemonist or memory savant to learn a list of names they may remember thousands, tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands with no trouble, just as they can learn lists of thousands of digits.

Is face blindness a symptom of ADHD? ›

These findings suggest that individuals with ADHD may have impairments of facial perception and recognition, which is consistent with the results of our study.

What does it mean when you can remember faces but not names? ›

This study indicates that when you know someone's face but not their name, it is because we are better at recognition than recall. Some studies have found that names are more difficult to recall than personal identity information because names are meaningless (Cohen, 1990).

Is prosopagnosia a spectrum? ›

You're not a jerk if you can't remember faces: Prosopagnosia, or facial blindness, is a spectrum, neuroscientists say — Quartz.

Why do we find it more difficult to recognize inverted faces than other inverted objects? ›

We find it rather difficult to recognize inverted faces because inversion changes the relationships among individual facial features. - Face inversion changes the relationship between individual facial features, and we rely on information about the configuration of these features to successfully recognize faces.

What is the opposite of prosopagnosia? ›

The opposite of prosopagnosia is the skill of superior face recognition ability. People with this ability are called "super recognizers".

Where is the lesion most often associated with prosopagnosia? ›

When there is a lesion that occurs at some level of this processing, the patient complains of prosopagnosia. Usually lesions are in the bilateral inferior occipitotemporal lobes. Unilateral cases are less common, but when they occur, they are most often attributable to right-sided lesions.

Why don't we remember our own face? ›

Specifically, when most people see faces, their brain processes the face as a whole, rather than by its individual parts. For people with prosopagnosia, they see the individual parts, but are not capable of perceiving the face holistically, making it incredibly difficult to recognize someone by their face.

Can people not recognize themselves? ›

Failing to recognize yourself can be a disconcerting experience, but is not uncommon among people with face blindness. Self-recognition can be especially difficult in childhood photographs or when distinguishing oneself from a sibling.

Why can't I recognize myself in the mirror? ›

Your Reflection Feels Like A Stranger

It's not that they can't recognize themselves — that's prosopagnosia, usually a symptom of brain damage. Rather, people with depersonalization disorder simply don't feel a connection to who they see in the mirror.

Is face blindness genetic? ›

Disease at a Glance

Symptoms that may vary include whether a person can perceive facial expressions normally, or recognize objects normally. The underlying genetic cause of Developmental prosopagnosia is not yet known. Familial reports of this condition are consistent with autosomal dominant inheritance.

Can you have mild prosopagnosia? ›

In its most extreme form, people cannot even recognise their family or friends. Milder forms, while still distressing, can be tricky to diagnose, which is why tests are needed. People with prosopagnosia often use non-facial cues to recognise others, such as their hairstyle, clothes, voice, or distinctive features.

Is prosopagnosia a disability? ›

Children with congenital prosopagnosia are born with the disability and have never had a time when they could recognize faces.

Can you recover from prosopagnosia? ›

Social isolation and depression are two frequent responses to prosopagnosia. Prosopagnosia is surprisingly common and while there is no cure for prosopagnosia, individuals that have it often adopt compensatory strategies for identifying the persons with whom they deal.

At what age does your face change most? ›

Skin becomes loose and sagging, bones lose their mass, and muscles lose their strength as a result of time spent living life. Most people begin to notice a shift in the appearance of their face around their 40's and 50's, with some also noticing a change in their 30's.

What does a person with face blindness see? ›

People with face blindness have normal visual acuity. They can differentiate between shades of colors, identify patterns, and see in 3D as well. They do not have any problems with memory or comprehension and have normal intelligence. Face blindness is also called prosopagnosia.

Can people with face blindness tell if someone is attractive? ›

Carbon found that attractiveness ratings didn't differ between the groups. Face blind and unaffected participants found the faces similarly attractive. However, the participants with prosopagnosia found the faces much less distinctive than the unaffected participants.

Can face blindness be cured? ›

There are no specific medical interventions that have cured face blindness; therefore, treatment is aimed at improving recognition abilities. Many individuals with face blindness may learn adaptation techniques in order to help them identify their family and friends.

Can you have mild prosopagnosia? ›

In its most extreme form, people cannot even recognise their family or friends. Milder forms, while still distressing, can be tricky to diagnose, which is why tests are needed. People with prosopagnosia often use non-facial cues to recognise others, such as their hairstyle, clothes, voice, or distinctive features.

How do I know if I have prosopagnosia? ›

The primary symptom of prosopagnosia is an inability to recognize persons by their faces. This difficulty with facial recognition can manifest in a number of ways: Poor recognition of familiar individuals in person or in photographs. An inability to describe faces.

What is the opposite of prosopagnosia? ›

The opposite of prosopagnosia is the skill of superior face recognition ability. People with this ability are called "super recognizers".

Are there degrees of prosopagnosia? ›

There are varying degrees of impairment in prosopagnosia, including: The inability to recognize. Discriminate. Identify different or own faces.

How can I help someone with prosopagnosia? ›

Identify others through conversation:
  1. Ask people to introduce themselves.
  2. Repeat a person's name during conversation.
  3. Introduce oneself first and hope they do the same.
  4. Use the topic of conversation as a cue to identity.
  5. Use general small talk to cue identity.
  6. Gauge a person's reaction to the conversation.

Why is it hard for me to recognize faces? ›

What causes face blindness? Prosopagnosia is thought to be caused by abnormalities, impairment, or damage of a fold in the brain called the right fusiform gyrus. This area in the brain plays an important role in coordinating the neural systems that affect facial memory and perception.

Is prosopagnosia a spectrum? ›

You're not a jerk if you can't remember faces: Prosopagnosia, or facial blindness, is a spectrum, neuroscientists say — Quartz.

What percentage of people have prosopagnosia? ›

The researchers, led by Ken Nakayama and Richard Russell at Harvard and Bradley Duchaine at University College London, have found evidence that prosopagnosia, once thought to be exceedingly rare, may affect up to 2 percent of the population – suggesting that millions of people may be face-blind.

At what age does your face change most? ›

Skin becomes loose and sagging, bones lose their mass, and muscles lose their strength as a result of time spent living life. Most people begin to notice a shift in the appearance of their face around their 40's and 50's, with some also noticing a change in their 30's.

Why can't I imagine people's faces? ›

Aphantasia is a phenomenon in which people are unable to visualize imagery. While most people are able to conjure an image of a scene or face in their minds, people with aphantasia cannot. Imagine that it is a warm summer day and you are sitting on the side of a swimming pool.

Is face blindness a symptom of autism? ›

Face blindness, or prosopagnosia, is a condition that can be acquired through a brain injury, but it is also closely associated with developmental disorders like autism. About 40% of people with autism have prosopagnosia symptoms.

How many faces can you remember? ›

Researchers at York University have found that our brains can remember 10,000 faces over the course of a lifetime. The average person can recall around 5000 but, the scientists say, that doesn't mean we'll always remember their names. This content is imported from {embed-name}.

What is it called when you never forget a face? ›

Some people say they never forget a face, a claim now bolstered by psychologists at Harvard University who've discovered a group they call “super-recognizers”: those who can easily recognize someone they met in passing, even many years later.

How many people are affected by prosopagnosia? ›

If so, you might have face blindness—officially called prosopagnosia, from the Greek word prosopon, meaning face, and agnosia, meaning ignorance. As many as 1 in 50 people have some degree of prosopagnosia, although many lead normal lives without even realizing they have it.

Why can't we recognize people when their photos are upside down? ›

The face inversion effect occurs when, compared to other objects, it takes a disproportionately longer time to recognise faces when they are inverted as opposed to upright. Faces are normally processed in the special face-selective regions of the brain, such as the fusiform face area.

Who discovered prosopagnosia? ›

Though researchers can trace face recognition problems after brain injury as far back as the 19th century, prosopagnosia was first identified as a separate neuropsychological problem by German neurologist Joachim Bodamer in 1947.

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