When a Face Means Nothing: What a Face Recognition Uncle Looks Like

When Brad Pitt told an interviewer this year that he suffers from facial blindness, the actor shared loneliness in the condition: “Nobody believes me,” He said. But if you’re in a room of 50 people, chances are someone has this rarely discussed condition. Not just a house but also primates Jane GoodallEven the late neurologist and author Oliver Sacks.

Uncle facial recognition“from the Greek professional “Face” + agnosis “Ignorance” – or “face blindness” – is a “very specific neurological symptom… [in which] A person loses the ability to recognize people’s faces but retains the ability to recognize that person by the sound of their voices” or other means, says Karen Post, a clinical instructor in neuropsychology at Harvard Medical School.

Studies indicate up to 2.5 percent of the population have “developmental prosopagnosia” — meaning they’ve had it from birth, Postal says. Acquired prosopagnosia is rare and can present in a variety of neurological conditions, including stroke, tumors, and degenerative dementia.

Face recognition is a very complex cognitive process that involves a dedicated network of brain regions. Prosopagnosia may present as degrees of impairment – some people are mildly affected, others may not recognize their own reversal.

My life with my face blindness

Post says that the appearance of his uncle face recognition depends on What is the reason for that?. With a stroke, it’s surprising: the patient wakes up in the hospital and recognizes the person who remains alert at their bedside only when they speak. For those with dementia, there may be a slow decline in the ability to recognize faces.

Some days, symptoms may be more prominent, “less than that, but the path is to increase problems over time,” says the Post. “In the case of developmental prosopagnosia, it is usually dawn when the parents realize that the child cannot distinguish between one face and another.”

Faceblind.org Co-founder Brad Duchain says it can be difficult for people with sweat blindness to get a diagnosis.

“Most clinicians and many neurologists would not have experience with this,” says Duchaine, whose lab is exploring the mechanisms behind facial recognition blindness and the different shapes it presents. There are tests, but older ( Warrington face recognition memory and Benton face recognition test) is not perfect, he adds.

“Poor scores on these tests are good evidence of difficulties with facial recognition, but scores in the normal range should be treated with caution; some participants are able to score in the normal range when covering facial features,” says Duchain. “Hair and clothing provide an alternative way to identify people in tests.”

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Duchaine created a file Cambridge face memory testThe latest and most used reviews right now. The best way to get a diagnosis, he says, “is to enroll in a lab that does research on facial recognition blindness and take part in their studies.” Faceblind.org He’s recruiting for such a study, he adds.

There are a handful of treatments available for facial blindness, some aimed at repairing the weakness, while others provide ways to overcome it, says Joseph Degotis, a collaborator at Faceblind.org Director of the Boston Lab for Interest and Learning.

He says his lab and others “focused on improving facial perception abilities, for example, by enhancing the matching of internal facial features or improving overall processing capabilities: the ability to integrate all parts of the face into a single representation.”

The lab has developed a memory-focused training approach to improve “face coding strategies to enhance facial remembering,” says Degotis, because those with face-recognition blindness typically lack “the ability to automatically remember semantic and contextual details when they see a face, even though they They might. I have a vague sense of knowledge.”

Jane Gilbert, who states in his memoirs, “Picasso mirrorDescribing her experience with the condition, she does not recognize herself in the mirror. She was born prosopagnosia but didn’t know anything was wrong with her until she watched a TV show about prosopagnosia in her twenties.

“It was shocking to me when I learned that I had a brain disorder, and at the same time I feel comfortable. Gilbert explained a lot about my behavior.

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But how did Gilbert cope before she was diagnosed?

Gilbert, who does not recognize the faces of her family members, focuses on visual cues and searches for distinguishing features, tattoos, scars, and moles. “But the most important is the person’s posture, the effect in their voice, their smile,” she says. “That’s how I work. It’s as natural to me as breathing. I don’t need to ‘see’ a face.”

What about when Gilbert looks at herself in the mirror?

“Logic dictates that looking back is mine. But I don’t feel any connection to it. It’s just a forgotten face as soon as I look away. I know I have hazel eyes and auburn hair, so I expect to see those. It doesn’t mean anything to me. It’s like a question.” A person is blind to what he sees when he looks at a colored plate.

“I wear makeup and do my hair because I know my face represents me, and I want to give the world a natural look even though I’m far from feeling natural on the inside,” she says.

Existential-blind people suffer from great practical and social difficulties. Some are dismissed as “arrogant” or unfriendly, and Gilbert says the condition means she sometimes struggles to understand deep feelings.

“It’s not that I don’t care about the people in my life, but when I’m not with them, they are no longer in my head. I have no face to remember, nothing to attach affection to,” she said. “Imagine going on vacation by yourself. You can remember the places you visited, the food you ate, the things you did, but there are no people in the memories. This has been my life since I was born. He could be lonely.”

Experts agree, however, that most diagnostics develop strategies for compensation.

Post says, “When we visually process an object or a face, there are two pathways that are simultaneously processed. One involves the visual aspect, and the other involves an emotional sense of familiarity.”

Gilbert says she’s candid about her condition now: “I immediately come out and say, ‘Have we met before?'” I suffer from facial blindness and cannot recognize people, not even myself. My real friends come to me and say their names and remind me of what we did together last time. I call those prompts my memory. This person may not be in my memory, but I can remember an event or conversation.”

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