Friday, December 24, 2010

Prosopagnosia: Interesting Disorder


Yeah, I'm a freak. I was born with two left earlobes. Not so freaky, but then I'm also psychic and synesthetic (oh yes, that's for another post following this one). As well, I have a variation of the condition called prosopagnosia or “facial amnesia.”

This is a condition in which the ability to recognize a face is impaired. Sufferers may use clothing and voices and postures to know who the person is. They also often suffer from the ability to understand facial cues, like emotions and expressions. Jane Goodall is actually a sufferer of this. Imagine meeting someone and not knowing you have met them before or not?

What causes such a condition? Some times it has occurred to people with brain injuries and other times it appears to be genetic.

My variation of this disorder is the inability to picture anyone I know's face, even my own. I don't know what I look like until I see a picture of me or see myself in the mirror, then I recognize me. Even my own dear son and loved ones, I cannot picture their faces at all in my mind no matter how much I study them. When I see them, I recognize them, but I do not carry their images with me. This is very ironic considering that as a psychic, I often pull up images of people other's know. If I study the image long enough, I can see more and more details but the face as a whole means nothing to me, only the parts are recognizable. It makes for an interesting life, as when I run into people I love, I feel almost as if I'm meeting them for the first time.

Those with the full-blown disorder know that it can be hard to recognize movie stars or television characters. Once they hear Michael Scott on “The Office” speaking or sitting in his office, they know it's him. This inability to memorize a face is even more interesting when you realize that people with this disorder have no trouble recognizing objects and other things, only faces are amnesic for them.

The next post will include synesthesia, another bizarre disorder of which I suffer. I'm a freak and you always knew it. I think you'll be surprised to see how common that disorder is and I have a theory it actually helps in my spatial gifted qualities and my psychometry talents.

13 comments:

  1. Bonjour, ma cherie! As usual, you've found another interesting topic to write about.

    I'm stopping by to wish you Happy Holidays and to gift you (virtually) with a Christmas present. Hope you have a wonderful Christmas and a VERY Merry New Year!

    http://goo.gl/jpHEh

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  2. I can't imagine what that would be like. I will run into people I haven't seen in 20 years and recognize them even through age changes.

    Like Courtney, I am also stopping by to wish you a Merry Christmas. Best to you and your family, my friend.

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  3. MM;
    Thanks and same to you. May it be warm, cozy and dry! It's funny how I can't picture faces at all in my mind, but once I see them, I recognize them, but not for the face as a total. I usually recognize a nose or eyes or eyebrows or something strange. I'm a freak, what can I say?

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  4. Facial amnesia can also happen with excessive use of botox.
    I think ultimately it's not the face you recognize in person.

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  5. You will enjoy the second post that goes up in just a while. It's along the same lines but another very interesting disorder I enjoy (I actually do enjoy this next one)

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  6. I can't imagine having this because I am so good at remembering faces. It's just their names I always forget.

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  7. Sis;
    Yeah, I forget names too. I sometimes have ways of playing mind games to recall names, but when you combine that with their face not being rememberable to me (that is not a word, I am sure), it can be a nightmare.

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  8. Trust me; you're not a freak. Even with the double earlobes. I have a brother in law with three nipples; which I understand is quite common.

    We're all freaks; one way or another. I say let your freak flags fly!!

    By the way, Happy Holidays!!

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  9. Thanks Brenda-Sweet. I like being a freak. I was never one to follow the crowd and be a sheep, nor am I so anti-group that I do stupid stuff to stand out. I think I'm just a born leader and they tend to set the pace themselves. So far as the double ear lobe, I'm in good company. It's pretty common. When I used to model, I had both earlobes pierced and then the agency had a fit because in the early 80s flaws were not cool. So, I had it fixed, but it's still a double lobe, just not as pronounced. I wish I hadn't had it fixed, though. It's like a part of my charm was removed. I'm glad I don't have a third nipple, thank you very much.

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  10. I have two left feet (or so my dancing partners say) if it makes you feel any better!

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  11. Timoteo;
    Yes, it does. It also makes me smile.

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