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Questions about Prosopagnosia

Oren Franz

Well-Known Member
I did a research that inability to recognize faces is a symptom of Prosopagnosia.

But what about having an ability to recognize faces, but having hard time understanding the context of facial expressions? Is that milder from of Prosopagnosia? It's a symptom of Autism Spectrum Disorder and Communication Disorder.
 

Thinx

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
I know there's been some research that indicated Infants with autism do not look so much at the faces/eyes of the parent/ carer. Perhaps whatever mechanism makes NT babies do that doesn't work the same for babies with autism? Maybe they focus differently, on thoughts or sounds, or are distracted by the range of stimuli around them?
 

Aneka

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Affected people have trouble with memorizing faces, there are different severity levels, some people can not even recognize the faces of family members. Others only need some more time until they have memorized a new face. Or they get confused when someone has been to the hairdresser and gotten a completely new haircut. I'm one of those people. I asked a classmate once if he was a new student because he had shaved his beard. Pretty embarrassing.
Once, my teacher got mad at me and called me rude because I hadn't greeted him in town. Another typical problem: If I meet people in unfamiliar settings I might not recognize them at all. I would only recognize my teacher at school!
 

Neonatal RRT

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
CoVID has really highlighted this phenomenon for me. Recognizing people masked and unmasked. I have also had the issue of recognizing people based upon environmental context,...know people at work (wearing scrubs, mask, etc) , but not recognize them outside of work in street clothes (pre and post CoVID). I also have a common phenomenon where the parents of a baby that I took care of will recognize me, call me by name, talk to me about how their child is doing,...and I am thinking to myself, "I've never seen you before." and I have to act like I know them. Really weird feeling,...and I kind of feel like crap because I was a person of meaning in their life,...and I don't remember them at all.

Off topic a bit: It is interesting, working with babies though. At the children's hospital we worry about babies and their neurodevelopment while interacting with them when wearing a mask,...as they are just learning about reading faces,...and yet, we find that simply raising the eyebrows will often elicit a smile from most babies. Seems that wearing the mask actually, in some cases, forces the baby to look at the eyes. Quite interesting.
 
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Shamar

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
I did a research that inability to recognize faces is a symptom of Prosopagnosia.

But what about having an ability to recognize faces, but having hard time understanding the context of facial expressions? Is that milder from of Prosopagnosia? It's a symptom of Autism Spectrum Disorder and Communication Disorder.
I can tell you that I am ASD and have almost no ability to recognize facial expression. On an expression recognition test, I scored less than random chance. Unfortunately, a statistical analysis with a sample of one (or maybe two) is not vary useful. I do seem to remember there are others here with a similar problem, so this may be more common in the ASD population.
 

SDRSpark

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Affected people have trouble with memorizing faces, there are different severity levels, some people can not even recognize the faces of family members. Others only need some more time until they have memorized a new face. Or they get confused when someone has been to the hairdresser and gotten a completely new haircut. I'm one of those people. I asked a classmate once if he was a new student because he had shaved his beard. Pretty embarrassing.
Once, my teacher got mad at me and called me rude because I hadn't greeted him in town. Another typical problem: If I meet people in unfamiliar settings I might not recognize them at all. I would only recognize my teacher at school!

Growing up, this was absolutely surreal. If I saw someone around town, I wouldn't recognize them "out of context" (I still have this issue, but I'm aware of it). The result of this is that I would be out in public somewhere, and people would greet me like they knew me even though I didn't have a clue who they were. This was a completely bizarre (and confusing) experience. I could not understand how all of these complete strangers knew my name. I felt famous, though I couldn't understand WHY I was famous, as I'd never done anything particularly remarkable in a public sphere.

Decades later, I now understand that these people weren't strangers, they were people I was supposed to know. (I'm not aware of it having been noticed by others because I learned early on to PRETEND to know them out of politeness - so I've had a lot of full on conversations where I walked away thinking "who the heck was that?" but I never let on that I have no clue who they are. Of course, I learned SOMEWHERE that it was rude to ignore people you know, so it probably WAS noticed at an early age and I just don't recall.)
 

Gift2humanity

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
I have this, it's easier the more distinctive facial features.
My ex had very red lips that "curled" as in pursed, which I could see from a distance but I have struggled lots with not recognising faces.
 

Alexej

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
I once had a conversation with somebody who recognised me and I did not recognise them. I must have met them at work and we were now meeting in a cafe far away from the work situation. I was able to hold the conversation together for the duration but still have no clue who it was.
 

Hypnalis

Active Member
Can anyone link a good article that explains how humans recognize faces?

Notes - possibly not needed here, but on normal sites it definitely is:
  • If you haven't read the article please don't link it - I tried searching first, and found plenty of articles with enticing titles but zero useful content (see the next point for why)
  • I don't mean "neurons in XXX part of your brain fire and then you recognize someone". This is an accurate, but for this purpose completely useless, description which can be applied (by changing the last two words) to anything and everything a person can do with their body or mind :)
  • What I want is the current theory on the "saved data" and algorithms the brain uses. I had a book on "human perception" once (decades ago) that presented a convincing model of facial recognition. The model has worked well for me ... but the book said it wasn't proven, so there may be a better theory now.
 
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Oren Franz

Well-Known Member
Is this a form of Prosopagnosia?

Throughout my childhood, I couldn't identify faces, but as I got older, I started to identify faces accurately, but I still don't understand some facial expressions very well.

Prosopagnosia is not in DSM-5-TR and ICD-11, I wonder if it is just a symptom common in Communication Disorders and Autism Spectrum Disorder and other neurodevelopmental or neurological disorders that can explain Prosopagnosia.
 

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