Face Blindness: All faces look the Same

We classify people as either beautiful, handsome or ugly depending on their facial features with some individuals going a step further to “fix” their factual structure to acquire the title of beauty, gaining admiration in return. 1 in 50 people is unable to recognize faces; a condition commonly referred to as face blindness.

Prosopagnosia, “is a neurological disorder characterized by an inability to recognize faces. Prosopagnosia is also known as face blindness or facial agnosia and varies in severity among affected individuals. It is believed to arise from damage to an area of the brain known as the right fusiform gyrus” Melisa Conrad.

The said individuals just see a blur when it comes to faces including their own. However, they have clear vision, can see colors and patterns basically a normal vision. They heavily depend on voices to tell people a part. Due to this most individuals with face blindness avoid crowds or social gatherings completely due to anxiety. To avoid being called “snob”, “rude” or to keep on explaining their condition they keep to themselves and their inner circle.

Some people are born with Prosopagnosia while others develop it through a stroke, traumatic brain injury, or certain neurodegenerative disease. For the latter it is easier to state the problem as compared to someone who has never recognized a face before.  Individuals who have lost the ability to recognize faces are at the forefront working with researchers to understand the condition.

There’s no specific treatment for prosopagnosia, but researchers are continuing to investigate what causes the condition, and training programmes are being developed to help improve facial recognition.


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