Prosopagnosia, Or Face Blindness

1373 Words Dec 11th, 2014 6 Pages
Prosopagnosia, or face blindness, is a neurological disorder that prohibits an individual’s ability to recognize faces. It can occur in several different manners, each with different levels of severity. Some who have it are simply unable to recognize faces of familiar individuals, while those with more severe forms cannot distinguish between objects and faces, or even their own reflection. In some of these cases, it can be accompanied by issues with recognizing other objects such as cars or places.
The history of Prosopagnosia goes all the way back to the 19th century, though the first instance of the actual term came about in 1947. Joachim Bodamer recorded a case of a 24 year old male who, after having been shot in the head, became unable to recognize his family, friends, and even his own face. With the disorder having been named, more studies arose, allowing for a growth in the theories behind how it worked. For instance, the knowledge of it having many different manifestations implies that it is based on a complex process with many stages to the perception of faces. This led to determining where it takes place in the brain.
Not many studies have been done on the prevalence of this disorder, but one in the German student population says about 1 in 50 people are affected by prosopagnosia. While little is known on the subject, a few notable cases have been made apparent. These include Hubert Dreyfus, Jane Goodall, Victoria, the crown princess of Sweden, and Oliver Sacks, a…

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