Sunday, July 02, 2006

Who was that masked man?

Ah, it' I'm always on my toes at the grocery store, ready to recognize and greet patients that I may have met only once in my life. I usually remember the faces and something personal, like where their children go to school, or where they work. But names? That's a problem mostly because new names seem to me like random tags without any associated memories to link them with a face.

What, however, of persons who can't recognize faces? This problem, dubbed prosopagnosia, can be so severe that these people have trouble identifying their nearest and dearest. Once thought to be rare as can be, researchers now believe that 2% of the general population have face blindness severe enough to affect their daily lives.

Are you in the facial know? Check out for two little recognition quizzes. The first presents an array of famous faces that does require a certain visual knowledge of the famous and the infamous. During the second, you will have a small amount of time to familiarize yourself with twenty women, then will be asked to recognize them as they appear on your screen amongst a host of never-before-seen ladies. It's fun! If you're truly a prosopagnostic, they may want you to participate in a research study.

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