News Stories

Face Blindness

You have trouble remembering names (hint: say the name out loud as part of the greeting to the new person you're meeting). The humorist Dave Barry suggests that everyone should be required to wear nametags at all times. But there are some people who have it even worse: They can't recognize FACES. This affects a surprisingly large number of people?1 in 50?so a lot of us have this problem and are covering it up.

Face blindness is called prosopagnosia. People who have it cannot easily tell faces apart, even if they belong to people they know well, and they often see even their friends and family as strangers. The condition is usually associated with brain damage, for example from a stroke, but the condition also runs in families. It's most common when trying to recognize different people of another race from your own. As a Chinese person once said to this reporter: "All white people look alike."

German researcher Thomas Gr

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