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WikiProject Medicine / Neurology (Rated C-class, Mid-importance)
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I found no mention of "super-recognizers" in this article. This is an important omission for 2 reasons. Firstly, the existence of super-recognizers shows us that prosopagnosia is probably better thought of as an extreme on a spectrum of ability, and not an isolated abnormality or disorder. Secondly, the subject of super-recognizers is an interesting and significant condition in itself, and deserves a mention or even its own Wikipedia page. Being a super-recognizer can give rise to strange and puzzling social situations and could potentially be a valuable and useful ability at work and in other situations. I write from experience, and I also make reference to this 2009 journal paper from Psychonomic Bulletin and Review:

Evidence for Dirac and prosopagnosia?[edit]

I would like to know in detail what is the evidence that physicist Paul Dirac had prosopagnosia? All that I found here is a reference to a biography. On what page is Dirac's prosopagnosia described or mentioned? Any quotes? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:06, 10 September 2010 (UTC)

For Dirac's prosopagnosia, see `The Strangest Man' by Graham Farmelo, p.369

Renaming to 'Face blindness'[edit]

I notice the article has been renamed from prosopagnosia to face blindness. Although New Scientist may use the term, it is not a widely used and is inaccurate.

e.g. compare PubMed searches for face blindness (one hit) and prosopagnosia (353 hits).

Even Google has almost twice as many hits for prosopagnosia as face blindness.

Furthermore, people with prosopagnosia are not typically 'face blind' (i.e. they see faces, but they are either distorted or indistinct).

I propose renaming the article back to prosopagnosia, although please voice your objections below.

- Vaughan 09:59, 5 Apr 2005 (UTC)

"Face blind", like "tone deaf" is a useful metaphor rather than a literal description. "Prosopagnosia" is a clumsy neoGreek construction: "concerning eyes not knowing". Bill at uses the term for himself: "I can see faces. I just can't tell them apart." If you don't want a Greek or Latin lexical construction, you could use Old English: "face mingler/mingling", but "face blind" is short and lucid. The condition of being able to see everything other than faces doesn't seem to exist, so there isn't opportunity for confusion. Bob Marsden 24.06.05—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 06:46, 24 June 2005 (UTC).

That may be true, but as I pointed out above, the term 'face blind' is rarely used in comparison to 'prosopagnosia', which seems a good justification for naming the article as it is. - Vaughan 07:18, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)

As someone with prosopagnosia, I have to say I *hate* the term "face blind". WMMartin 17:28, 14 September 2005 (UTC)

I agree that the term should be Prosopagnosia. It is a medical term that describes the condition. Prosopagnosia is a condition you have. Face blind is something you are. I am not face blind. More of us with Prosopagnosia are beginning to use the term, Prosopagnosia, as awareness becomes more common.WendSong 06:07, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

Just make a redirect, jeeze. I looked up Face Blindness because it was called that on a news report, but had to google for the "proper" name. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by WtW-Suzaku (talkcontribs) 20:26, 18 June 2007.

Anecdotal Evidence about Prosopagnosia in Gay Men[edit]

I read recently that there was some evidence that gay men are proportionately more likely to have prosopagnosia than straight men, but I can't remember the source ( so it's not just faces I can't remember  :-) ). Accordingly, I've put this point in the article as "anecdotal"... If anyone has the reference, I hope they'll add it. Thanks in advance. WMMartin 17:36, 14 September 2005 (UTC)

Perhaps that should read "Anecdotal Evidence about Homosexuality in Prosopagnosics". As a prosopagnosic who identified as bigendered/bisexual before discovering prosopagnosia, I see face blindness as a potential precursor to homosexuality rather than the other way around. So, the more interesting study for me would be to ask prosopagnosics about their sexual orientation and gender identity.Research at Harvard now indicates that prosopagnosia is less rare than thought, so a large enough sample to confirm or deny a link seems within reach.—The preceding unsigned comment was added by User (talkcontribs) 01:36, 15 June 2006 (UTC).

To contribute to this original research: I am gay and I also have it. A.Z. 01:15, 16 September 2007 (UTC)
I would also like to contribute, but as your first volunteer for the control group. I am not gay and I do not have it. -- (talk) 08:51, 16 March 2008 (UTC)
I am not gay and I do not have it. We're making slow but steady progress here. (talk) 02:49, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
I'm not gay and I think I have it... looks like the progress isn't so clear after all.King Klear (talk) 13:32, 27 October 2011 (UTC)
I'm hetero and have it, as have 3 more member of my family, who are all hetero as well. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:17, 6 June 2013 (UTC)

Difficulty laying down memory of a face[edit]

I have difficulty laying down a memory of a face, which I now realise has been debilitating throughout life (I need to remember clothes, hair etc). I often cannot remember a face at all, minutes after one meeting with a person, and can take up to about six meetings. I once turned round and danced with the wrong woman! Strangely though, I am regarded as having an exceptionally good memory for faces once aquired (I can identify an actor correctly while others are arguing whether it really is). My brothers and son report similar difficulties. Not prosopagnosia exactly, but interesting, as I'm a high achiever and my memory for other things is fairly good, while my long-term memory is outstanding. Anyone else with soslopagnosia? -- 20:25, 24 June 2006 (UTC)

For me, i can recognize people, but when away from them i can't remember what there face looks like in person, only the memory pictures cani remember—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 04:37, 28 July 2006 (UTC)., if you're saying what I think you're saying (I'm a little confused by "only the memory pictures cani remember") then that's pretty normal. -- (talk) 09:49, 16 March 2008 (UTC)

Me too -- 15:46, 11 March 2007 (UTC)

Penn Jillette[edit]

Disclosed his diagnosed prosopagnosia on his radio show 30 AUG 2006. Podcast is available on iTunes.—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 19:07, 30 August 2006 (UTC).

This is apparently incorrect. Penn has since been asked about this again (in a TV Guide interview) and denied it. See Penn Jillette for more info, or follow the link to the interview. Dstumme 20:59, 24 January 2007 (UTC)
But does it matter to this article wether Pen has P or not? He does give a good description of associative prosopagnosia in the link mentioned though ...

How to say it[edit]

Somebody get an IPA pronunciation of this word? =/ -- Denelson83 10:52, 18 September 2006 (UTC)

Prosopagnosia in Popular Culture[edit]

There was an episode of Picket Fences which dealt with this issue. The little person in the cast was briefly in love with an older man with prosopagnosia (although I believe it was just called agnosia in the episode) but couldn't continue the relationship because he could never recognize her. -- 01:12, 4 October 2006 (UTC)

The game 9 Hours, 9 Persons, 9 Doors also references prosopagnosia. The game dabbles into a lot of philosophy and other psychological items, and this is among the central points that the game conveys. I figured I should leave that here. (talk) 07:59, 19 February 2011 (UTC)

I added a reference to the movie Faces in the Crowd (film) in which prosopagnosia is a vital part of the story. The effects as shown in the film are truely terrifing. ThomasHarrisGrantsPass (talk) 06:23, 21 March 2013 (UTC)


ICD code, please?? --Shandristhe azylean 07:55, 24 October 2006 (UTC)

Prosopagnosia is not a diagnosis with officially agreed criteria (hence no ICD code). The research literature usually uses neuropsychological tests to determine whether someone has a selective deficit for face processing. - Vaughan 09:44, 24 October 2006 (UTC)

The closest there is to an ICD code for prosopagnosia is ICD-9-CM Diagnosis Code 368.16 for "psychophysical visual disturbances." This also includes stuff like object agnosias and hallucinations. For ICD -10-CM it's H53.16. (from: )

I'm not sure if these codes apply to the more recently discovered (and often milder) developmental prosopagnosia. Cloveapple (talk) 03:44, 23 April 2011 (UTC)

Cloveapple's observation is very much on the mark. Even the NLM code cited relates specifically to traumatically induced instances. Irish Melkite (talk)

Merge with prosopagnosis[edit]

I notice that someone added a tag suggesting that prosopagnosis and prosopagnosia be merged. I have three comments:

  1. Content: A quick look at the page prosopagnosis page shows that it is a mess. I am not sure that it contains any useful information that would warrant a "merge." I'd suggest that a redirect would be more in order.
  2. Neologism: Prosopagnosis is a neologism that, in my training, I have never heard. Based on my experience, the word would seem to refer to the process of face recognition, but deficits in face recognition.
  3. Notability: From a quick google search, prosopagnosis turns up only 183 hits, and for example, the first one correctly refers to prosopagnosia, and then uses this neologism to refer to deficits much more broadly. A pubmed search turns up no hits at all for prosopagnosis (consistent with my professional experience of never having heard the term) and 410 for prosopagnosia.

On the basis of these factors, I suggest that the prosopagnosis page be turned into a re-direct. I'm also copying this to the prosopagnosis talk page. Edhubbard 14:48, 4 November 2006 (UTC)

Autism and Prosopagnosia[edit]

I have always had trouble remembering people by face; I use their hairstyle and clothing as cues when I first meet them, and if they change clothes, I may think they're a different person. (This has happened at three-day conventions and campouts.) If a customer returns later the same day, this can be embarrassing. However, a particularly interesting or emotive face is easy to remember.

I often rely on context, and who I know from where. A family friend was waiting behind me at the ATM one day, and if they hadn't said my name, I would not have remembered that I knew them.

I also have Asperger Syndrome, a high-functioning form of autism. One of the major effects of this syndrome is my innate inability to read body language and facial expression. I rely on the spoken words of the person I am speaking with, and while I can follow the logical flow of a conversation, the person I speak with may get frustrated when I don't pick up their nonverbal conversational cues. The automatic, innate translation of facial expression into emotion is something I've only experienced with animals, cartoon characters, and performing actors.

I believe Asperger Syndrome and mild prosopagnosia are closely related, in my case, to nontypical functioning of mirror neurons. Does anyone know, offhand, of research that may reflect this? --BlueNight 05:32, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

Hi BlueNight, you're quite right as there is a much discussed link between the autism spectrum and prosopagnosia in the research literature. See this PubMed entry for a summary of a paper and link to the full text. - Vaughan 21:41, 6 January 2007 (UTC)
I have Asperger's Syndrome too, with severe prosopagnosia. Yet my intelligence is above normal. That seems to go against the "brain damage" theory described on the Prosopagnosia wiki page. TheresaStudent (talk) 01:25, 26 September 2009 (UTC)

Just to add to this very limited and possibly meaningless anecdotal evidence - I have done a number of tests of face recognition ability and it appears that I have the opposite of prosopagnosia - I'm a "super-recognizer". I have also had my synaesthesia confirmed by doing The Synesthesia Battery, and I consistently come up with scores in the autistic range in tests and questionnaires that are relevant to Asperger syndrome (such as those from Cambridge University's ARC). I believe all three of my unusual neurological conditions are inter-related. Not all autistics are face-blind. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:04, 10 September 2010 (UTC)

I think the preceding comments, describing distinctly opposite experiences are pretty much typical of the extremes that one frequently encounters in Autism generally and in Asperger's (whether one accepts it as a variant of Autism or insists on it as a distinct entity). For every person diagnosed with one of these disorders who displays an extraordinary deficit in some regard, another is recognized as having an equally extraordinary talent/skill, whatever one wishes to term it, in that same regard. The resultant perplexity is one of the considerations that can sometimes make a comparison between two batteries aimed at diagnosis of the same condition appear contradictory at best and schizophrenic at worst. As a consequence, any review of the literature is likely to find instances in which symptomatic 'laundry-lists' cite either or both super-recognition and prosopagnosia (in varying degrees of severity manifestation) and even more literature that will cite neither. Irish Melkite (talk) 09:29, 25 March 2012 (UTC)

Ventrical stream[edit]

Does this article have anything about the ventrical stream? (I got a little sidetracked from the article to here and forgot what I'd read.) Anyway, if it doesn't--shouldn't it? What do those who actually know a thing or two about the ventrical stream think about this? -- (talk) 09:58, 16 March 2008 (UTC)


Hi this article should be deleted. It has no legitimate sources and is a completely made up condition I call for a straw poll anyone else agree? (talk) 21:55, 2 November 2008 (UTC)

What nonsense. This article cites medical textbooks, scientific journal articles, and major news stories. I see this editor has been blocked for being disruptive. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:19, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

Chuck Close[edit]

I edited the page earlier today and was told I should cite a reference. A recent podcast from WYNC's Radiolab included a discussion between Oliver Sacks and artist Chuck Close, who both have face-blindness. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:14, 17 June 2010 (UTC)

Done.--Ben Ben (talk) 18:17, 19 June 2010 (UTC)
Close talks about his face-blindness in his interview on the August 12, 2010 Colbert Report-- . Might or might not be worth including. (talk) 19:53, 13 August 2010 (UTC)

Brad Duchaine Blurb[edit]

It smacks of sickening self promotion of a rather minor figure in the field, probably by the researcher himself, and should be removed. It's almost as bad as the Ray Mears page which continually links to products he is promoting. When i log into Wiki next i shall remove it if there are no compelling arguments as to why it should stay. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:06, 3 November 2010 (UTC)

For the record, I had nothing to do with the "sickening self promotion" that was written about this "rather minor figure". Moreover regardless of who wrote it, it's hard to understand the vitriol. -- Brad Duchaine (7 April 2011). —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:03, 7 April 2011 (UTC)

Overview subsection[edit]

The subsection at the end of the Overview section reads like an advertisement. The links should be under references or at the end of the article at least under a 'further resources' type heading, the subsection removed and integrated with the rest of the overview if it can be done while preserving neutrality. I post my complaint here rather than simply making the edits myself so that whoever made the edit(s) adding that subsection can improve upon it themselves, and in case my opinion is way off base, to avoid an edit that will be reverted. That said, I'll check back on this article in a month and make the edits I suggested if nothing has been changed, or mentioned on this talk page. Mr0t1633 (talk) 15:17, 27 January 2011 (UTC)

Duchaine and Mindick references[edit]

I agree that the section about Brad Duchaine et al may smack of self-promotion. However, I think it is worthy of a subsection to list researchers interested in the topic of prosopagnosia. Similarly, I think it is worthwhile to have a subsection about other specific resources available about prosopagnosia. A previous edit removed a reference to a new book which was published about prosopagnosia and children as "self-promoting", but since there is rather little discussion of the topic available anywhere, I believe this is an appropriate place for both, provided they contain proper subheadings indicating their purpose and potential usefulness to the reader. I have made such an edit, and I hope the wikipedia community will be understanding and accepting.

FYI, Brad Duchaine has become very well known within the prosopagnosia community. To call any researcher an "authority figure" would, in my opinion, be foolish, but Brad Duchaine has made a significant stride toward providing reliable testing mechanisms regarding prosopagnosia which were not previous available.

However, there are a variety of other researchers and labs throughout the world addressing specific questions related to prosopagnosia. Perhaps there should be a single subsection listing each of these and their specific interests?

Also, the sections on Researchers and Current Research seem a little duplicitous. Not only that, but they currently include a very small number of people actively researching these topics compared to the quantity who are actually doing such research. I still think it is worthwhile to include such information, but perhaps consolidating that information to one subheading, rather than two, would be more helpful and succint for the reader. Certainly, removal of self-advertising of labs and researchers is a good idea, but I would rather have this information out there for people interested in finding it, so long as it was not deliberately self-promoting.

Any further comments or suggestions about either of these two situations?

Prosopguy (talk) 00:05, 5 February 2011 (UTC)

I'm no expert on Wikipedia policy, but my limited understanding says that you basically just provided exactly what was needed to leave the reference in there. I don't remember the exact wording, but it was something to the effect of "if someone else believes your work should be added, they will do so". Since you've just done so, I take that as sufficient unless someone more involved in the topic has a problem with it. RobinHood70 talk 03:11, 5 February 2011 (UTC)

Image you might use[edit]

Read an article about prosopagnosia and ended up making an image `inspired' by the affliction. You'll find it on Flickr, cc-licensed (BY-NC-ND), and are thus free to use it if you feel it might be illustrative of the condition. Refraining from adding it here myself, and instead posting it here as a suggestion, both because I'm unsure if it's suitable for the article and because I couldn't say where (in the article) it'd be best placed.

{kristian (talk) 11:47, 10 April 2011 (UTC)}

Hi, I can only speak for myself. This picture doesn't show how I recognize faces. I can see them, but only as objects (and pictures are objects). I'm only able to recognize the "basic" face expression "smiles/doesn't smile". Think of it as of the ability a three years old child has that can only remember faces inside his "I meet regularly at a place I'm familiar with" circle. Face perception may interest you and don't forget to read Wikipedia:No original research. --Ben Ben (talk) 12:29, 10 April 2011 (UTC)
Right. I can see how this picture would be misleading. Regarding Wikipedia:No original research, I didn't have the image in mind as in facts or research. Only as illustration. Something to brighten up the text with. Similar images was used in a popular science magazine for the same purpose. (kristian (talk) 09:10, 11 April 2011 (UTC))
I don't think this image has any relation to the condition - sorry. People don't look like scary faceless aliens - they look like people. The problem arises when they then get confused or offended because you didn't notice they're the same people you had a meeting with this morning / worked alongside for weeks / were introduced to five minutes ago. (talk) 01:37, 23 March 2012 (UTC)

Perception vs Recognition[edit]

I think that there is a strong argument to be made that the opening sentence "Prosopagnosia is a disorder of face perception" is inaccurate or, at best, poorly stated and would be better phrased as "Prosopagnosia is a disorder of face recognition". I am unaware of anything in the literature that suggests the condition described here prevents those so-diagnosed as unable to perceive faces, rather that they are unable to recognize faces, as in unable to distinguish faces to which they have been previously exposed. To the point, agnosia is a loss of knowledge - it is the loss which defines prosopagnosia. A person with prosopagnosia might describe an instance as "I can't recognize that face as John's", I don't see them describing it as "I can't perceive that face as John's". The two are distinct processes and it is the recognition factor that is at issue in the diagnosis.Irish Melkite (talk) 09:07, 25 March 2012 (UTC)


I would avoid using terms such as "usually". I would like to know facts. Also, not every important name used had a link with it. I would like to do more research on certain psychologists that were mentioned. I am new to Wikipedia so I appreciate your time reading my advice. Thank you. MalloryGross (talk) 06:31, 12 September 2012 (UTC)

You are quite right! Weasel words such as usually can be unclear - even though sometimes words as usually can summarize a wordy conclusion from a good source. But please feel free to change inexact words and expressions into more exact ones. Lova Falk talk 07:37, 12 September 2012 (UTC)

Brad Pitt[edit]

I'm taking the Brad Pitt link down - It just happened and there's really no truly substantiated evidence at this point that his claims are actually true - also the reference was not reliable — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:25, 24 May 2013 (UTC)

Developmental prosopagnosia[edit]

The reference to the Awasthi et al paper at the end of the section on Developmental prosopagnosia says that there is "poor integration of low and high spatial frequency information", whereas the abstract of the paper says that there is only a deficit in "low spatial frequency processing by DP subjects as compared to controls", which was what I had expected (Oliver Sacks reported that he saw the world as being flat when using only one eye). Does someone have access to the full paper to check if there is also a deficit in high spatial frequencies? Skamnelis (talk) 08:53, 2 June 2016 (UTC)