Those with Face Blindness (Prosopagnosia)

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EzraS
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02 Feb 2017, 12:03 pm

Are you able to recognize famous faces like George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Brad Pitt, Marilyn Monroe, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump and the like? And what about character faces like Yoda, ET, Homer Simpson, Austin Powers, Jack Sparrow and the like?

For me I can recognize all the faces I listed. But there's a lot of famous people I don't recognize just by seeing a picture of them, even though I've seen them in movies and on TV etc.



BTDT
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02 Feb 2017, 12:07 pm

It depends on the context. If I met Yoda in person I'd probably figure it out because of his height. But, lacking such clues, it is remarkably easy for me have doubt of who anyone is. In other words, I rely on memory tricks to compensate.



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02 Feb 2017, 12:18 pm

George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Brad Pitt, Marilyn Monroe, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump --- Yes, except I might have trouble recognizing Brad Pitt because I'm not a big fan and not into his movies.

Character faces like Yoda, ET, Homer Simpson, Austin Powers, Jack Sparrow --- Yes.

Bigger question: Do I easily recognize acquaintances, neighbors, and co-workers? --- No. :oops:

...



EzraS
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02 Feb 2017, 12:35 pm

the_phoenix wrote:
George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Brad Pitt, Marilyn Monroe, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump --- Yes, except I might have trouble recognizing Brad Pitt because I'm not a big fan and not into his movies.

Character faces like Yoda, ET, Homer Simpson, Austin Powers, Jack Sparrow --- Yes.

Bigger question: Do I easily recognize acquaintances, neighbors, and co-workers? --- No. :oops:

...


I don't know why I picked Brad Pitt because upon looking at pictures of him, his hair style and facial hair changes a lot, so I probably don't recognize him most of the time. Also a lot of times I'm trying to figure out who someone is seeing them on TV. Who is that? What else have I seen them on?

Acquaintances, neighbors, and schoolmates I have a hard time with and usually not at all. Teachers I'm a little better at, probably because I am able to study their faces better. Usually it's something like a mole or eyeglasses that helps me recognize them better. Teeth too. I'm always captivated by teeth for some reason.



ZenDen
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02 Feb 2017, 12:56 pm

Once saw a photograph on a wall in a bar.....couldn't place the face. Two weeks later, like a lightening bolt from the blue...EDGAR G. ROBINSON....from one of his old gangster movies.....totally blank until the revelation. Never had memory fail/recover so strongly after.



dossa
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02 Feb 2017, 1:37 pm

I'm not sure if I have face blindness, but I am awful about recognizing people... especially if they are not where I normally would see them. I walk to the same corner store multiple times a week in the evening and nine times out of ten it is the same guy working the night shift. I have been doing this since 2002 and he has been working there much longer. He said hi to me once at the gas station and I had no clue who he was because he was not in his store.

I dunno about famous people in general since I don't watch a lot of television or movies or whatever, but I certainly recognize Yoda and Homer when I see images of them. Same with Marilyn Monroe and some other cultural icon types (like the Mona Lisa picture). I don't know though if I would recognize Bill Clinton, for example, if I were to just randomly see him somewhere, though I would be sure to recognize him if I saw a picture of him.


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SteveSnow
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02 Feb 2017, 1:43 pm

I can't recognize my own family until I see something that distinguishes them or hear them talk. I've walked right past them on multiple occasions since it wasn't a place I was expecting them and they weren't moving. The only way I can remember a famous face, fictional or otherwise, is if it has a distinguishing feature that no one else has. So someone like Bart is easy but George Washington I wouldn't have a clue if you put his picture next to other males from that same period.


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02 Feb 2017, 2:29 pm

I recognize famous people with distinct features- like Samuel Jackson's squinty face and Brad Pitt's giant jaw. I have a terrible time recognizing normal-looking actors/politicians. I don't recognize my own family out of context, whether in person or in photos. I mostly recognize myself, but I do that by the use of distinguishing features. I know where all of my sun spots are and how my eyebrows grow and the dent in my lower lip, etc. With famous people, I probably rely more on voice and stance than I think I do. If you put Bruce Willis' voice on Samuel Jackson's film, I could be fooled.



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02 Feb 2017, 2:54 pm

@Ezra I can recognise the people you mention but I struggle to put a name to quite a lot of other celebrities I have seen a fair number of times .


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02 Feb 2017, 3:30 pm

For me, I have lots of problems with this (scored 1st percentile in short and long term face remembering). For me, I tend to notice hair first. Then face texture I guess. So i can recognize all the people you mentioned but maybe Brad Pitt and the U.S. presidents as I'm Canadian. Brad Pitt has a very common hair style to a lot of actors i believe so I may think he's someone else. I know I focus on hair the most because when two of my teachers dyed their hairs a lighter or darker tone, I was able to notice it immediately and am the only person to notice it basically. Yoda I could tell because who else is green with long ears and is like 900 (don't quote me) years old?


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TheAvenger161173
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02 Feb 2017, 6:59 pm

I'm at the opposite end of the face recognition spectrum. I score very high on several super recogniser tests. Did around 8 different ones. It's not something I realised I was good at, I assumed everyone was the same..although I'm better at recognising people on tv and films etc as when I'm in public I'm in a world of my own,either anxious or stressed etc and eye contact usually isn't the best to take facial recognition in. I did a quick test on line,then did several more complex tests which showed I have very good facial recognition. Now I've started to recollect instances where I recognise faces. It happens in a mili second I recognise faces even with the smallest amount of detail. As an example I was watching the film the fugitive and recognised 3 faces from more recent tv shows/films. They were 20 od years younger and I only had the briefest of looks at them to know who they were. One of them had a hat obscuring some of his face and and only caught the end of his scene but knew instantly where I had seen him. Another example I live in an upstairs flat/apartment and I was expecting a nurse to come see me. I looked out of the window down the road 30 metres away, and someone got out of the car. I only needed to see he face from the side and Within an instant I knew it was a nurse who I had seen 20 years before. Her hair was grey now though and obv much older. I'm constantly thinking "I know that person from somewhere" when I see people. I suspect I may have similar with voice recognition as I've started to notice voices to people on tv and films without seeing them.



EzraS
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02 Feb 2017, 10:16 pm

One time at a mall a kid with his parents came up to talk to me while our folks talked to each other. After we went our separate ways I texted my parents asking who was that? They told me it was Philip, someone I went to school with for years and knew really well. But during summer break he had gotten taller and his voice had changed some, so he was completely unrecognizable to me. Plus he wasn't wearing his signature train engineer hat.



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03 Feb 2017, 3:23 am

I recognise people by their hair and their clothes and their body shape. If someone changes their hairstyle I can't recognise them anymore. I did one of those famous faces tests online for fun, the kind where they take away cues such as hairstyle, and scored very badly.

In everyday life, I don't recognise people out of context. Occasionally they look familiar although I can't quite place them, but most of the time they're complete strangers even though I ought to know them. I have accidentally offended several people with my inability to recognise them.



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03 Feb 2017, 4:40 am

This is an interesting topic , I don't have face blindness but I'm convinced my girlfriend has.

This topic also made me think of this photo where there was an internet debate about who it was , it was a choice of 2 people, but for me it was obvious who it was , I will post it below to see if anyone recognises him , cant differentiate between the two people he looks like or dont recognise him at all.

Image


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04 Feb 2017, 5:31 pm

Hippygoth wrote:
I recognise people by their hair and their clothes and their body shape. If someone changes their hairstyle I can't recognise them anymore. I did one of those famous faces tests online for fun, the kind where they take away cues such as hairstyle, and scored very badly.

In everyday life, I don't recognise people out of context. Occasionally they look familiar although I can't quite place them, but most of the time they're complete strangers even though I ought to know them. I have accidentally offended several people with my inability to recognise them.


That is exactly how I am. Once, when I was little, my sister dyed her hair brown (her hair is naturally red) and I couldn't recognize her. I had the same problem too when my dad shaved off the beard he had for years.


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04 Feb 2017, 5:59 pm

TheSilentOne wrote:
That is exactly how I am. Once, when I was little, my sister dyed her hair brown (her hair is naturally red) and I couldn't recognize her. I had the same problem too when my dad shaved off the beard he had for years.


Exactly. Normal people can still recognize faces despite changes in hair color or length. If you have face blindness you can easily be fooled if something you normally rely on changes.