Some may joke about not being able to place a face, but a small percentage of people have a very real condition called prosopagnosia or face blindness. While reports of the disorder date back to the 19th century, it would take a 1947 publication to bring this rare disorder to the attention of the neuroscientific community. Studies suggest one in 50, or two percent of people, have this disorder.
Prosopagnosia is the severe inability to recognize people by face, both familiar and unfamiliar. This goes beyond not being able to put a name to a face. For people with face blindness, faces appear blurry, like an unfocused photo, or completely blank. Some are unable to discern age or gender as well, and in many cases, may even be unable to recognize their own reflection.
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