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I have Prosopagnosia - I can't recognize faces.

Updated on November 8, 2014

Prosopagnosia - It's hard to recognize faces.

Prosopagnosia means the inability to recognize faces. It is sometimes called face blindness. I've had it all my life, but I didn't realize I had it until I was in my 20s. Here's my story about what it's like to have Prosopagnosia.

Prosopagnosia is actually a common dysfunction, effecting about 2% of the population. It appears to have a genetic basis, as people with it often also have family members with the disorder too.

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Kids in Elementary School (Click to enlarge)
Kids in Elementary School (Click to enlarge)

Prosopagnosia Difficulties in Elementary School

No one noticed I had trouble with recognizing faces

I was often described as quiet and shy in school, but my difficulty with recognizing faces was never noticed by a teacher or anyone else. I had other difficulties and strengths that were noticed: a severe speech and language delay and a high IQ ("gifted").

One particular task proved to be quite difficult for me. Sometimes teachers would have the students hand back graded papers. This was a task I had a very hard time doing and I tried to avoid it.

I had an especially difficult time telling apart the boys because many of them had similar haircuts. As a kid, haircuts were something I paid a lot of attention to.

How did I hide my problem in school? Well, with handing back papers, I would simply put the paper to the bottom of the stack if I didn't know who the kid was. Fortunately, the teacher often had several students hand back the papers at the same time, so I would wait until there was a stack of papers already on each kids' desk. Then I would surreptitiously look at the names on the papers and then match up the hand written names. Sometimes this took me a long time, and often the teacher would decide to finish the task. If the teacher noticed my difficulty, she never said anything to me.

I now wonder if my problem with recognizing faces contributed to my desire to always sit up front next to the teacher and becoming the teacher's pet. Of course I could always recognize the teacher. I also didn't make many friends, and my Mother felt that my social skills were delayed, and it is very possible that the Prosopagnosia was part of the reason.

Picture of a Face
Picture of a Face

"I have a really hard time remembering people."

Early awareness of something being different

My earliest awareness that something was different with my brain was a conversation I had with my Dad about remembering people's names.

I told him that I had a hard time remembering people, and he assumed that I meant remembering names.

I listened to his name remembering tips, and thought they were good ones, but of course it didn't solve my problem.

I didn't realize then that my real problem was remembering faces, not names.

Busy Deli
Busy Deli

My College Years - Trouble Working in Retail

I worked at a Deli for just a couple days....

In college, I still didn't know that I had trouble recognizing faces, and so I didn't take that into consideration when applying for work. I worked at a Deli for a couple of days.

During the early morning rush, there were several customers ordering food at the same time, and I prepared a bagel for one customer and then didn't know which customer ordered it. The customer was angry and frustrated with my apparent stupidity.

I'm sure that contributed to me being fired after only two days. How did I think about this experience? I thought "I forgot to remember who ordered this bagel..." I was aware that I had made an error, but I didn't know that it had to do with face blindness.

Prosopagnosia makes watching TV difficult
Prosopagnosia makes watching TV difficult

Hard to Follow TV Shows and Movies

Especially when the characters all look similar

It's hard to follow the plot of movies if all of the people are dressed very similarly (i.e. uniforms, or stereotypical period dress) and have similar hair cuts, too. It's hard to recognize people if I've only seen them infrequently, because I don't have much information stored on what they look like. It's also hard if I see someone one place, and then I see them in a different place where I'm not expecting to see them. The circumstance in which I see someone is one of the big clues that allow me to figure out who they are.

Close your eyes and imagine...
Close your eyes and imagine...

Inability to Visualize Faces

Close your eyes and remember them....

My Prosopagnosia isn't as severe as some people, because I've never had trouble recognizing family members or people close to me. However, I still have an inability to visualize faces of almost anyone. I can visualize places and objects, but it is hard to recall visual images of faces without looking at photos or people themselves. This applies even to people that I do recognize.

Art shaped like a Neuron
Art shaped like a Neuron

Realizing that I have Prosopagnosia

A Big Realization for Me - Now I have Insight!

I can't remember exactly how I discovered Prosopagnosia or Face Blindness, but about five years ago, I was on the internet, and I came across a website about it. It was an immediate recognition. "That's me."

I cried... and my husband and I talked about it. He is super supportive and now when I ask questions like "Who is that" in a movie, I don't feel embarrassed or dumb. And now there's an explanation if I don't recognize someone.

What a world of difference it makes to have a name for the problem, and to know that other people also have it.

Neurons
Neurons

Getting Better?

There is no cure.... or is there?

Now, supposedly there is no cure for the disorder. However, I've been working on improving my face recognizing abilities. Or heck, improving my abilities to recognize people, whether it's their face or some other aspect! I watch movies and TV for practice. Now with High Definition, using the TV for practice is almost as good as real life, and of course on TV you can expose your mind to many faces easily. Practice, practice, practice!

I used to not know what it meant for someone to have a high cheek bone. Now I look at faces and try to describe them and try to remember them. I've started to recognize similarities between faces. Sometimes I'm wrong, and I think someone is someone else, but I'm learning...

I know it's getting better for me. I still get lost in some movies. But now I can actually sometimes recognize famous actors, even though they appear as different characters in different movies. I have also been practicing recognizing people by the sound of their voice. I think it's a good way to compensate for face recognition problems.

The brain can definitely change over time. It's called neural plasticity. The neurons can make new pathways. I have been trying to help my brain change by taking the nootropic drugs Piracetam and Aniracetam. I think that they do make a difference and hope that someday there will be clinical trials with them or other drugs to see if people can be cured of Prosopagnosia and other brain disorders. If you're interested in experimental brain-enhancing meds, you may want to research nootropics. There is a nootropics community on reddit that has lots of individuals curious about improving their cognition. However, there is no proof and little research but someday, just maybe, we'll have a treatment for prosopagnosia.

I overcame my speech language problems, and if that's possible, why isn't is possible to overcome Prosopagnosia?

My Test Results - Face Recognition & Emotional Recognition Test

Prosopagnosia Test Results
Prosopagnosia Test Results

I took the Face Recognition, Emotion Perception, and Personality test (Update: This test is no longer available, but other ones are.) recently, and unfortunately did not do much better than I did a couple of years ago when I took it. I am still not recognizing faces. The face recognition part of the test involves me guessing most of the time..... It is a frustrating test to take if you have prosopagnosia, so be warned!

The test results show that I also have some trouble with recognizing emotions. That surprises me... I don't know how to explain that. I never would have thought I had trouble with that. But on the test, they have you look at just pictures of eyes, and in real life, there are many things to look at to judge one's emotions.

How is it then that practice helps? I do wonder. Maybe I'm getting better at recognizing other things about people and maybe I am improving my memory. So, can you cure prosopagnosia? I guess I have no evidence that it is possible. But if I can learn to recognize people better - whether it's faces or something else - then that's a coping mechanism I can live with.

60 Minutes Episode on Face Blindness - Lesley Stahl on Prosopagnosia - March 18, 2012

I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of this 60 minutes segment. In this segment, you meet some people who are face blind, who can't recognize their own family members. Also featured is neurologist and author Oliver Sacks and a portrait artist who can't recognize faces. This episode also touches on the opposite of face blindness - people who recognize and remember every face they see. These people are called "super recognizers."

This video may help others who aren't faceblind to understand what the disorder is like.

Your Comments on Prosopagnosia

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    • braincell2020 profile image

      braincell2020 3 years ago

      I recently learned about prosopagnosia one of my neuropsych classes - thank you for sharing this from your standpoint. This was a great read.

    • hotbrain profile image
      Author

      hotbrain 3 years ago from Tacoma, WA

      @sushiiyaya: I don't know because I don't watch anime. Maybe someone else can answer. I have heard that some people with prosopagnosia have trouble recognizing other things like cars. That is, finding their car in the parking lot might be difficult if there are other similarly colored and shaped cars next to it.

    • profile image

      sushiiyaya 3 years ago

      I understand prosopagnosia person, can't recognize people faces in TV show does this applies to anime ?

    • hotbrain profile image
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      hotbrain 4 years ago from Tacoma, WA

      @anonymous: Could be... I notice that sometimes I ignore people's names when reading books and lately I've been trying to make an effort to not skip over them, and try to even visualize the characters if possible. Also, I'm shopping for eye glasses this week and I was thinking about how usually I can't tell which glasses look good on me. So I am going to try to look for ones that are similar to my current ones. There may be social and interpersonal differences, and maybe even personality differences, that could be affected by prosopagnosia.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Hi Heidi,

      Do you suppose this is why I have never bothered to put up pictures of family & friends in my home like "normal" people do? Has anyone else been like that, as well?

      Thank You! Hollis

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      HEY HORACE! I'm glad I'm not the only one that can't recognize vehicles as well! I've been accused of being everything from stuck up to stupid , and even called myself stupid for lack of a better explanation. Don't feel bad about relaying xxxx's conversation to her, I've done that, AND walked past my own father in a store while looking directly at him. He thought I was on drugs!!

    • hotbrain profile image
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      hotbrain 4 years ago from Tacoma, WA

      @anonymous: I've thought about this too. I'd be unable to describe how a face looks to a police officer. Hopefully mentioning that I have prosopagnosia would help... I am trying to get better at observing other things I can describe, like clothing, height, license plate number, type of car, etc....

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @hotbrain: It great to know what I have, I don't go out to often because of this. I will try the movie thing, always scared if I go out and get mugged I won't say what they look like.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      THANK YOU! I had this all my life, it is hard to live with. Think of this go to a store and walk away from a love one. Not be able to find them and their only short bit away,never seen them. I make my husband were something I can pick out.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      i've not heard about this condition before reading this lens, thank you for sharing

    • tedwritesstuff24 profile image

      TedWritesStuff 4 years ago

      I only just heard about this condition today

    • pumpum profile image

      pumpum 4 years ago

      I have heard of this condition and I watched a movie about it. great lens,thanks for sharing.

    • kburns421 lm profile image

      kburns421 lm 4 years ago

      I have heard about this, too. I can only imagine how difficult that would be. Admittedly, I do have a harder time remembering faces than names. I remember once I met a guy while walking on campus, we exchanged numbers, and we made plans to meet up for lunch one day. It wasn't until then that I realized I had no idea what he looked like! Of course that's nothing like actually having face blindness, but it's the closest I can come to understanding it. It must be a difficult thing, especially as a kid when you didn't even know why you had such difficulty. This is a great, informative lens. The personal stories definitely made me realize the little things I take for granted.

    • hotbrain profile image
      Author

      hotbrain 4 years ago from Tacoma, WA

      @Diane Cass: Thanks.. I can tell a difference - I am able to recognize people better than I used to. I'm not sure if that's really better facial recognition, or other kinds of recognition, but practicing is definitely helping.

    • Diane Cass profile image

      Diane Cass 4 years ago from New York

      I've heard of this. They did a thing on it on PBS, either NOVA or American Scientific Frontiers. I think it was the later, with Alan Alda hosting. I can't imagine life like this. I applaud your effots to retrain yourself. I think it sounds like it is working. That test probably doesn't do you justice, because it is showing you random faces of people you don't know. If you did the same test with actors you have been studying, you might get a better score. Keep up the good work, and God bless you.

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 4 years ago from Canada

      I have never heard of prosopagnosia but I am sure that it would be very difficult to deal with in our modern age where we must associate with so very many people in our day to day life.

    • hotbrain profile image
      Author

      hotbrain 4 years ago from Tacoma, WA

      @anonymous: Thanks for commenting Horace! Great to hear from an older person like yourself.... I've sure found some comfort in having a name for the condition and hearing from others that have it.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Well! Well! Well! I am now in my 90th year. I live in a resort. Recently I started relating a conversation with xxxx to a passer by. She interrupted and said; "But I am xxxx'. Oh dear! So embarrassing. Early in WW2 I was the only future pilot unable to recognize a single aircraft silhouette flashed on a screen. I have always relied on another person to speak first. Car recognition is a 100% failure - including my own. Unless there is a distinctive feature I cannot recognize faces, film stars, politicians and even neighbours away from their homes. Today I Googled the web and found Prosopagnosia. At last my lack of confidence has a logical explanation. I will explore YouTube. Horace

    • hotbrain profile image
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      hotbrain 5 years ago from Tacoma, WA

      @anonymous: That's comforting to hear that I'm not the only one who thinks of TV/movies as a chance to practice faces!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Lol you'll probably laugh, but like the author of this article I watch movies to practice. I used to work in a Bowling Pro Shop and my boss was great with faces. Every time he asked, "Who left that ball?" I would describe the persons hair, gait, mannerism until my boss guessed it. He was pretty cool about and just assumed I was "bad with faces". I started watching movies by the hundreds to try to remember. Famous people I can remember. If I've seen a person a couple of dozen times, their specific features, and we've had a conversation I can usually take a guess. My wife and I are Pentecostal and she doesn't were makeup, one time she tried even though it was sin. I didn't know who she was. We watch a movie with Mila Jovich, for the life of me I can't remember the title but it was about face blindness. Then I started looking it up.

    • KarenTBTEN profile image

      KarenTBTEN 5 years ago

      I have heard there are different systems in the brain for recognizing faces than some other things -- that we are supposed to distinguish tiny variations in the configuration of a face and attach meaning to them while we are supposed to look at oak trees and simply see oak trees (without noticing the variations). I think a selective problem with face recognition could have to do with having to use the "oak tree system" because the other one isn't working properly.

      It takes me longer to learn a face than it does the average person, but I think I am quite a bit better with faces than with some other types of visual information. I have had the experience of riding home with a co-worker regularly, and then when asked to retrieve something from her car, realized I didn't even know what color the car was.

      I translate images into words and concepts and then I remember them. There is very little visual imagery in my dreams, but the dialogue is clear.

    • hotbrain profile image
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      hotbrain 5 years ago from Tacoma, WA

      @anonymous: I think it can extend beyond faces... I also have trouble with cars. I can't figure out why it does extend beyond faces, but for some reason it does seem to. I have to pay specific attention to a car if I want to recognize it by looking at things like general car shape, shape of the tail lights, color of the car, etc A lot of cars do look alike to me...

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      My WOW moment came just last year, when I saw an author being interviewed about her book on this subject. I made the connection instantly. Discovering that I'm not the only one was a huge relief. As others, I have difficulty with characters in movies such as two blonde actresses. Or a cashier from the grocery store when I see her elsewhere. Sometimes It's like I know her from somewhere, but can't remember where. Sometimes I can't place an actor's face, but I'll recognize the voice. As a kid, the first instance I clearly recall was when my grandpa died, and I was unable to visualize his face. For years, thinking it was just me was hugely troubling to me. Now I've been wondering if this can extend beyond faces. For instance I find that I can't tell one car from another (being colorblind doesn't help any) since they all look alike to me, and most don't have names on them these days. Years ago it was no problem, but back then cars differed greatly in appearance. I'm wondering if others with this condition have found it extends beyond faces, if anyone would like to comment on that.

    • LynetteBell profile image

      LynetteBell 5 years ago from Christchurch, New Zealand

      I had never heard of this condition. Thank you for sharing.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Hi, I have prosopamnesia. People think I'm rude for not greeting in the street. The I recognize the voice, by the peinad for some leadership in particular, even by body language. But if these things change, I can not recognize.

      After seeing a series of 3 bald, just texture was horrible, I kept asking my sister who is this? watch the series once upon a time, for me the stars have the same face. At first did not understand very well what past and present because I thought that was the other.

    • hotbrain profile image
      Author

      hotbrain 5 years ago from Tacoma, WA

      @anonymous: It is definitely harder to recognize people when you see them in places that you don't usually see them. For example, seeing your neighbor in front of their house makes it easy to recognize him, but seeing him at the store you might not know who he is. If this is a new problem for you, you might want to see a neurologist to see if there's any cause he can detect.. But if you've had this problem all of your life, then it's probably genetic and there is no treatment, but you can try to practice recognizing people, if not by their faces, then by their voices or other characteristics.

    • Mariajomith profile image

      maria 5 years ago

      Thank u for sharing this personal story, I think it will help many others

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I was at my work and my nieghbor came in to pick something up, and i did not recognize him. Ive known this man for over a year and see him about every other day. Out of contast I did not recognize him. Then at work i mistaken a customer for a differnet customer, im 31 years old and don't understand what's going on.

    • profile image

      SteveKaye 5 years ago

      This is new information for me. I've been reading articles on things like this today, and the overall message is that we need to be more compassionate.

    • LizMac60 profile image

      Liz Mackay 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      What an interesting lens. Blessed.

    • profile image

      Ruthi 5 years ago

      I have never heard of Prosopagnosia before now; thanks for sharing your personal story. I think it is amazing there are ways to train your brain to counteract this problem. You have my blessings and a bit o' sunshine.

    • LisaDH profile image

      LisaDH 5 years ago

      I've never been good at recognizing and remembering people's faces, although I don't think it's problematic enough to count as Prosopagnosia. I do know that I'd be a terrible witness to a crime because I'm not good at remembering details of what people look like.

    • Einar A profile image

      Einar A 5 years ago

      This sounds incredibly familiar to me! I didn't know it had a name...

    • hotbrain profile image
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      hotbrain 5 years ago from Tacoma, WA

      @anonymous: Very interesting. I've never heard of intermittent face blind, but there are all kinds of strange brain phenomena.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Thank you for your information. My daughter developed it during college and the thought is that it has to do with her types of migraines. Hers is intermittent and affects her when she is in the US and in England where is now going to school but not when she is in Africa. I haven't heard of this type before.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      This is a wonderful lens. Thank you for sharing your personal struggle and so much knowledge.

    • Rosaquid profile image

      Rosaquid 5 years ago

      This is so interesting. I can relate to much of it.Thanks for the info!

    • SecondHandJoe LM profile image

      SecondHandJoe LM 5 years ago

      I am more and more impressed with squidoo as a catalyst for learning new things, often from a first person perspective. I have gone decades not knowing about Prosopagnosia. This is a fabulous lens. Thank you for sharing it!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Prosopagnosia is new to me and your personal discussion teaches so very well. You are such an overcomer and I'm always so impressed with your adaptive skills and rich encouragement to others. I like your discussion of the facial recognition test...it's a tool that indicates some of the information but only can do it in part as any evaluation tool. Blessed.

    • julescorriere profile image

      Jules Corriere 5 years ago from Jonesborough TN

      How difficult it must be for you. Thank you for sharing your story. I can see why it was chosen a top 100 Community Favorite for 2011. Congratulations.

    • skefflingecho profile image

      skefflingecho 5 years ago from Tobermory Ontario

      Fascinating lens. Blessed this lens!

      I had the horror of giving papers back too, luckily we all had to sit in the same seats so I learned where everyone was. I took the face test and thought I was guessing I got one of the practice questions wrong 3 times!! I feel I can't remember or even see faces very well or faces and names together, and I was in the top 10 percentile! So it must be something else.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      OMG, that's why it's so hard for me to remember people faces?! i thought i was just a forgetful person. i work as cashier and even before reading this article, i used customers' voices as clue to identify who's who.

    • hotbrain profile image
      Author

      hotbrain 5 years ago from Tacoma, WA

      @lesliesinclair: That makes sense... Sometimes it seems that I don't know "how" I recognize people.. I'm sure it's some combination and emotion does play a part! I'm becoming increasingly curious as to how prosopagnosia effects relationships and connections with others.

    • lesliesinclair profile image

      lesliesinclair 5 years ago

      This is very compelling. Sometimes I think I must have a bit of this condition. For me, it is necessary to find some kind of emotional connection to the new person; otherwise I may meet a person several times before I recognize them. thanks. congrats!

    • PNWtravels profile image

      Vicki Green 5 years ago from Wandering the Pacific Northwest USA

      Thanks to you I learned something new today! I'd never heard of this condition. I appreciate the links to the tests - fascinating research!

    • Auntiekatkat profile image

      Auntiekatkat 5 years ago

      Congrats on being nominated for Community Favorite Lenses of 2011. A wonderful lens. Fortunately we both share one thing it was easier to vote than for most as mine was my "why-I-am a- vegetarian was nominated as well. A proud moment for all of us. Good luck in the voting.

    • JoyfulReviewer profile image

      JoyfulReviewer 5 years ago

      Thanks for sharing your story and helpful information. Congratulations on being one of the final 100 favorite Squidoo lenses of 2011!

    • MCB2011 profile image

      MCB2011 5 years ago

      The Brain is amazing. I took one of the tests. Great lens.

    • hotbrain profile image
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      hotbrain 5 years ago from Tacoma, WA

      @Marigold Tortelli: I also pay attention to how people walk... It is a big clue! It sounds like you are very aware of your difficulty and are doing a great job at compensating.

    • hotbrain profile image
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      hotbrain 5 years ago from Tacoma, WA

      @balancebydesign4u: Thanks for your comment!! It's very rewarding to know that I've helped someone realize something about themselves :) I think many people have it but don't know it. Having a name for a problem sure helps!

    • hotbrain profile image
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      hotbrain 5 years ago from Tacoma, WA

      @NC Shepherd: Like with most disorders, there are varying degrees of severity... For some people it's very debilitating, other people find it to be just an annoyance.

    • balancebydesign4u profile image

      Carol 5 years ago from Arkansas

      I am 55 and for the first time...I have a name for my problem! I thought I was just being careless. I often have people come up and talk to me like they know me and I would swear I had never met them in my life. Very embarrassing. It has been a problem at work and church also. For me, it carries over into places and cars, which I also don't remember.

    • profile image

      NC Shepherd 5 years ago

      Wow, this is a real disorder? I didn't know that! I always thought I just didn't pay close enough attention.

    • snazzify lm profile image

      Katie Harp 5 years ago

      blessed by a squid angel :) <3

    • Mistl profile image

      Mistl 5 years ago

      I never knew about Prosopagnosia, this is what I love about Squidoo, it really broadens your horizon! Thank you for sharing and for making me aware of this!

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      Nancy Tate Hellams 5 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      I had never heard of Prosopagnosia and had no idea there was such a thing. This was very interesting. Congrats on being in the Top 100 Community Favorites.

    • Marigold Tortelli profile image

      Marigold Tortelli 5 years ago

      I learned to recognize people by the way they walk. Everyone has a fairly distinctive walk. Other than that I just wait for the person to say something so I can recognize their voice.

    • NicoleLynn711 profile image

      Nicole 5 years ago from Bethel, CT

      very interesting, I was not aware of Prosopagnosia. Thanks for sharing this information!!

    • iWriteaLot profile image

      iWriteaLot 5 years ago

      Very interesting lens. I wish your problem could have been recognized when you were in school and maybe you wouldn't have had such a difficult time. But you sound like a very confident person now. thank you for taking the time to share.

    • hotbrain profile image
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      hotbrain 5 years ago from Tacoma, WA

      @anonymous: Yes, faces often do look similar to me... When I started to get better at recognizing faces, I also started, at the same time, incorrectly recognizing faces! It seems that being able to recognize the similarities is part of the learning process. That's interesting about the Mirtazapine... Serotonin is supposed to play a role in learning.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Hi Heidi, do faces tend to all look very similar or some faces will sort of look like one you've just seen? Certain pharmacological interventions which act upon Serotonin can cause this: perhaps a lot can be learnt from their action as to why some people experience this normally? In my experience, things which agonise the 5HT-3C receptor induce this for me, whereas those which antagonise it (such as the NaSSA anti-depressant, Mirtazapine), cause the opposite and, also the nice side effect of almost photographic memory for people, names, places, dates, numbers: perfect recall!

    • hotbrain profile image
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      hotbrain 5 years ago from Tacoma, WA

      @artshock: Interesting that you mention school plays. They were always VERY hard for me.... Of course I'd be at the school play because someone was in the play, and I'd have to ask, where are they? It was very frustrating. Kids are dressed up in costume and far away... Not very many clues to go on!

    • hotbrain profile image
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      hotbrain 5 years ago from Tacoma, WA

      @WaynesWorld LM: Thanks for your comment! I didn't really like taking any of the tests, but from comparing my results to my husband's, I can tell that if you do recognize faces you will probably do better on the tests than someone who doesn't. The emotions part is annoying. They do give you very little to work with and try to confuse you. It sounds like you are doing fine recognizing people... Of course there are other ways to recognize people besides faces, like by voice or by how someone walks or their posture. Any way you can do it is pretty good, in my opinion!

    • WaynesWorld LM profile image

      WaynesWorld LM 5 years ago

      Heidi very interesting lens, First off I never heard of this but there is a ton of stuff I have never heard of(I don't get out much.)

      Sencond, I went and took a couple of those recognition tests, the one on emotion just pissed me off enough I didn't make it through the sample part let alone the rest.

      Recognizing the famous people that I should know or whatever, some of the pictures were really crappy pictures. The JFK junior I thought looked like Antonio Banderas, I couldn't remember Susan Sarandon's name, I knew where to look for the name but wasn't going to cheat, same with Renee Zelweeger and Nicole Kidman, recognized their faces new one was Tom Cruises real ex-wife and one was his wife from "Jerry McGuire" movie. I had a 70 where the average is 75. I think they should have a better face shot of the people, some of the people I just didn't know but you know what? Too bad, I'll live with it. The wife and I will watch shows and I am pulling peoples names out the shows and she is saying, "That's not them." And when we watch the credits or I go online at http://imdb.com I can find them in the credits of the movie or show.

      I don't want to make light of your situation with my own dislike of their tests.

      School was hard enough without being different, wish I would of enjoyed school more, it would be great if you could of gotten rid of all the name calling and stuck-ups.

    • hotbrain profile image
      Author

      hotbrain 5 years ago from Tacoma, WA

      @Psycho-Gamer: I'm so glad that I don't have any problem with remembering family members! That would be extremely difficult...

    • hotbrain profile image
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      hotbrain 5 years ago from Tacoma, WA

      @smithlights: Wow, that's amazing!

    • hotbrain profile image
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      hotbrain 5 years ago from Tacoma, WA

      @PropheticBlogge1: Thanks for your comments... I'm fortunate to be gifted in other areas, so I think that makes up for the prosopagnosia.. It took me a long time before I realized my difficulties with face recognition. If I had realized at the time, I probably would have figured out a strategy to cope with working at the bagel store (like remembering what the people were wearing) or maybe not applied for that kind of job.

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      hotbrain 5 years ago from Tacoma, WA

      @anonymous: Yeah, I try to realize that people may have difficulties that I'm not aware of... Everyone's different, and you never know what someone else is experiencing.

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      hotbrain 5 years ago from Tacoma, WA

      @anonymous: Neuroscience is a great major! I'm sure you'll enjoy it :)

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      hotbrain 5 years ago from Tacoma, WA

      @anonymous: I'm glad that my article helped you. It sure helped me to be able to put a name to the problems I was having!

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Thank you, I had not heard of this term until a couple days ago and am now realizing that I too may have prosopagnosia, based off of how similarly I relate to your difficulties! I scored similarly to you on the face memory test.

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      Thanks for sharing your story. I have heard of prosopagnosia and it was actually one of the disorders which piqued my interest in neuroscience. I plan to major in neuroscience in college and hope that I will be able to research this disorder and possibly find a cure. Good luck!

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      Hmm I learned a lot reading this lens, considering I had never heard of prosopagnosia. I used to get frustrated with people when they would not recognize someone they knew, now I'll have to try to be more understanding!

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      jlshernandez 6 years ago

      Thank you for this enlightening lens. I have never heard of prosopagnosia and now I know how to be more sensitive to people that may have it. Usually, I would think people are just forgetful when they fail to remember faces or names which is quite common especially in a big gathering.

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      chris_triby 6 years ago

      I had heard a little about this before but didn't really know much. Thanks for sharing your story, it was a good read and I learned a lot. Thank you for sharing your lens in PB's thread and keep up the great lenses.

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      PropheticBlogge1 6 years ago

      Thanks for highlighting this lens on my forum thread. I found your story really interesting and highlighted a condition which I was never aware of. It sounds like you've had a pretty hard time, the bagel scenario must have been pretty soul destroying at the time. I think it's great that you work hard at getting better at facial recognition and I hope it gets easier for you. Thankyou for highlighting your lens it was definitely one that I found interesting, informative, insightful and at times I was quite moved by your story. Hope things continue to get better for you. Kind Regards PB

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      smithlights 6 years ago

      Wow! I have never heard such a thing! I am opposite... with a photographic/identic memory. Thanks for sharing!

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      dogface lm 6 years ago

      This is really interesting, thanks for sharing. I think this is the first time I ever hear about prosopagnosia

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      artshock 6 years ago

      I've never heard of this before. It's crazy to think about the small things that could be affected by this, like your tv show example, something most people take for granted, or watching your child perform in a school play and not knowing which one they were. I took the test out of curiosity, very interesting. Keep practicing!

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      MasterPsycho 6 years ago from Earth

      ok girl....first of all this is a freaking awesome lens...second of all nature sometimes really messes things up.....and i can only partly imagine what are u going through....and ur disorder is not as severe as other people that i have known(not personally)

      i watched a documentary about this disorder several years back in my teens....and i had totally freaked out...and i mean totally...i had nightmares for about a week...

      there was a guy who was married and had 2 kids at their teens...and HE COULDN'T RECOGNIZE HIS FAMILY MEMBERS AT ALL....they were like strangers to him...the one moment he could see someones face and half a sec later he didn't know who he/she was

      he couldn't connect the face with the voice..or haircut..or name...or anything....it was like he could see no faces at all.....that is messed up..totally...nature is crazy

      keep practicing...and stay strong

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      Dear Heidi, I had no idea there was such a thing, and I really feel for what you have to deal with on a daily basis. Thank you for a wonderful lens explaining Prosopagnosia.