Unable to recognise faces? You are not alone

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Dec 16, 2015

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Quick Bites

  • People with congential prosopagnoisa struggle with recognising faces.
  • They fail to utilise facial features for identification.
  • It is independent of other cognitive disorders.
  • Hairstyle, walk and other attributes may still helpthem in identification.

Do you often feel like pulling your hair apart when you cannot recall something or perhaps can't remember faces despite several meetings? Do not worry you are not losing your memory. In fact, interestingly, according to a new study, this happens due to cognitive disorder called congenital prosopagnosia that can be traced back to an early stage in the perceptual process. The condition makes the person unable to recognize familiar faces, shockingly, including his own face.


unable to recognise faces

Although every face is unique and helps define a person's identity and interpersonal communication, people with congential prosopagnoisa are usually unable to utilise facial features to identify a person. However, they may still be able to recognise people on their appearance, hairstyle or even walk. The impairment often gets more evident during social gatherings as the person is unable to recognize another person between so many people.

According to researchers, around 1 to 2 percent of people have this condition. During a recent study, researchers focused their efforts on a group of persons who have experienced severe problems recognising people from their faces, but did not suffer from any other cognitive impairments.

The researchers found that the face-selective responses can change as soon as after around 170 milliseconds in people with congenital prosopagnosia. They also found that these changes are closely linked to their deficit in recognising faces. The researchers concluded that even a life-long contact with somebody does not help affected persons to recognise faces.


Image source: Getty

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