What is prosopagnosia?« Back to Questions List

People can sometimes not recognize faces correctly. This disorder in which people struggle to recognize faces is called prosopagnosia. The disorder is also referred to as ‘face blindness’. Persons with prosopagnosia cannot recognize anyone they see though they possess normal intellectual and perceptual functions. Imagine such a person at school, office or even home. Unless we have prosopagnosia, we will not appreciate God’s gift namely visual recognition.


Humans recognize faces with the help of a part in the brain called fusiform gyrus. The disorder may arise due to developmental problems or injury caused to the fusiform gyrus.

Fusiform gyrus is located in the temporal lobe of the brain. It deals with the visual perception of facial features. Damage caused to this part or somewhere in the neural pathways that connect this part to other parts due to accident or stroke can lead to face blindness.

This kind of disorder could either be acquired or developmental. Acquired prosopagnosia results from the damage to the temporal lobe often including fusiform gyrus area. Developmental prosopagnosia is typically from the birth. Genetic factor contributes a lot to developmental disorder. Not just face recognition, there may also be problems like judging a person’s age, recognizing emotional expressions or following the direction of a person’s eye gaze.


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