Face Blindness = Prosopagnosia
Pronounce “prosopagnosia” like this: PRO SOAP AG NOSE EEYA
Face blindness renders some people unable to reliably recognize humans by face. The disability runs on a continuum, just like dyslexia. I have a profoundly severe case. In my memoir, You Don’t Look Like Anyone I Know, I describe how I came to figure out I have this strange condition, and how I have learned to cope. I enjoy talking about the disorder, and the gifts it has brought to my life, in spite of great challenges. Most recently, I spoke at NASA!
My new essay on face blindness, "Who Are You?" appears in the December 2022 issue of Notes and Records: the Royal Society Journal of the History of Science.
My memoir, You Don’t Look Like Anyone I Know, is about my experience discovering that I have prosopagnosia, also called face blindness. I give talks on what it’s like to live with this puzzling, challenging condition.
If you think you might have face blindness or if you would like to learn more about the condition, here’s a good place to start your search.
Faces are crucial in how we make sense of the social world. Alexander Todorov researches, among other things, how we look at faces and make judgements.
In the Social Perception Lab at Princeton, researchers study exactly how we perceive and evaluate face information. Todorov’s new book is of interest to the general reader: Face Value: The Irresistible Influence of First Impressions. (Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press.)