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Face Perception

Page history last edited by Ernestine Dahn 13 years, 7 months ago

What is Prosopagnosia?


Perception is the use of previous knowledge to gather and interpret the stimuli registered by the senses. Face perception is the process by which the brain and the mind understand and interpret the face, especially the human face. People with damage to the inferotemporal cortex, have trouble recognizing faces; a condition called prosopagnosia (also known as face blindness). People with prosopagnosia cannot visually recognize human faces, but they can perceive other objects relatively normally. 



There are Three Subtypes of Prosopagnosia


     Apperceptive prosopagnosia is the earliest stage of face blindness. People with this condition can neither make sense of the faces they see, nor can they tell the similarities and differences when given pictures of people. They cannot distinguish age and gender; however, they are able to recognize people through the clothing they wear, hairstyle, and voice pattern.

     Associative prosopagnosia is thought to be an impairment to the links between early face perception processes and the semantic information we hold about people in our memories. Unlike a person with apperceptive prosopagnosia, an individual with associative prosopagnosia can recognize faces, tell the similarities and differences when given pictures of people and distinguish age and gender. However, people with this disorder cannot identify the person or give any information such as name, occupation, or when they last encountered the person in question.

     Developmental prosopagnosia is a face recognition deficit that is life long, manifesting in early childhood. This type of prosopagnosia cannot be attributed to acquired brain damage. It has been suggested that a genetic factor is responsible for the condition.



Bill Choisser's story

This is a link to Bill Choisser's online book about living with face blindness.

It explains how one with this disorder relates to people emotionally and socially   


This web page gives a brief description of the disorder and the three subtypes of the disorder

Mr. Angry and Mrs. Calm

This is an illustration showing how distance can impact one's perception on facial expressions

Sensation without Perception: Visual Prosopagnosia

This is a very sad You Tube video of Teri Sweeney, a former firefighter with prosopagnosia

Prosopagnosia Screening

This test gives you a rough estimation of your face recognition ability

Infant Face Perception 

The University of Texas at Austin Children Laboratory describes their research on children and face recognition  

Facial Recognition Systems 

This article describes how computers recognize faces  

Face Recognition

With this link you can determine for yourself that upside down faces are harder to recognize...or are they?

Benton Facial Recognition Test

This article tests the BFRT to investigate the possibility that individuals with impaired face recognition can score in the normal range on the test 

A Visual Demonstration

This site gives a visual demonstration of to live in a world where all the faces are the same


This page was created by Ernestine Dahn

Disclaimer: To my knowledge, all images, text, and links are public material, if not, email me at darlinegirl_2@yahoo.com and I will rectify the situation


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