Prosopagnosia

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Prosopagnosia

What if you saw your friends but couldn’t recognize them. Or a picture of you and your family, and you just couldn’t distinguish your own face from the rest of the group. Despite the complexity of human faces as visual stimuli, most people rapidly and unthinkingly identify the faces of our family and friends. Since we do this with such a remarkable efficiency in this computationally formidable task, research suggests that our visual perceptual system employs a specific mechanism dedicated to processing facial identity. Evidence for the existence of such a mechanism comes from a disorder called prosopagnosia, or “face blindness,”, which is a selective and often severe deficit in the ability to recognize others’ faces. People suffering from the disorder are often unable to recognize their friends and family members by face alone, instead relying on vocal cues for proper identification. They cannot name images of celebrities, even if they can…

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