Zoom on prosopagnosia


Prosopagnosia is the inability or difficulty to recognize faces. Initially stated as a rare phenomenon, a study has just shown that 3% of the population would be concerned by this strange disorder since birth...

Prosopagnosia is a learning and face recognition disorder, while having a completely normal neurological, socio-cognitive, and visual functioning. It can be developmental or, in rarer cases, acquired following a stroke or a tumor affecting the brain area involved in face recognition: the lower part of the temporal lobe of the right hemisphere. The causes of developmental prosopagnosia remain unclear to this day.

Recently published research suggests that there is no real threshold at which a person is deemed to be prosopagnosic, but rather that the disorder evolves along a continuum, with some people better than others at recognizing faces, and with prosopagnosics at the extreme end of the continuum.

But what do people with this disorder do on a daily basis? Well, rehabilitation is offered to help patients develop strategies to identify people... without recognizing their faces. People can be recognized by their voice, their hairstyle, the way they move, or their clothes for example.