Forums > Off-Topic Discussion > Face Blindness

Photographer

Looknsee Photography

Posts: 21680

Portland, Oregon, US

Recently, there were a couple of procedural TV shows that both mentioned "face blindness", where a person has trouble recognizing faces.  I think I have a mild case of that -- I don't quite recognize faces all that well.  There is a nurse I see about once a month -- I ran into her in the lobby, she said "hi", and it took me a little while to figure out who she was.  I ran into a model a couple of months ago -- I've photographed her more than any other model, but she moved out of town -- I hadn't seen her for five years.  I didn't recognize her until she talked to me.

It's weird.  Anyone else similarly inflicted?

Oct 11 12 01:42 pm Link

Model

Kelli

Posts: 24346

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Looknsee Photography wrote:
Recently, there were a couple of procedural TV shows that both mentioned "face blindness", where a person has trouble recognizing faces.  I think I have a mild case of that -- I don't quite recognize faces all that well.  There is a nurse I see about once a month -- I ran into her in the lobby, she said "hi", and it took me a little while to figure out who she was.  I ran into a model a couple of months ago -- I've photographed her more than any other model, but she moved out of town -- I hadn't seen her for five years.  I didn't recognize her until she talked to me.

It's weird.  Anyone else similarly inflicted?

I can recognize a face, but not know where I know them from. It's a little embarrassing and I often feel rude.

I can remember names, birthdays and phone numbers extremely easily. I remember them from my childhood of people I have not seen since, but still know their ph numbers and birthdays. They could pass me on the street though. sad

Oct 11 12 01:55 pm Link

Model

Sophia Be

Posts: 6354

Portland, Oregon, US

I have a hard time recognizing faces and remembering names, or where I know someone from.


But apparently I have no trouble recognizing nekkid bodies. Twice this year I recognized two people that I hadn't seen in ten years based just upon there naked bodies. One gal I recognized on a nude beach from over 50 feet away. The other gal, I recognized her ass from behind at a titty bar lol

Oct 11 12 02:00 pm Link

Photographer

Dannielle Levan

Posts: 12857

New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada

Kelli wrote:

I can recognize a face, but not know where I know them from. It's a little embarrassing and I often feel ruse.

I can remember names, birthdays and phone numbers extremely easily. I remember them from my childhood of people I have not seen since, but still know their ph numbers and birthdays. They could pass me on the street though. sad

I'm like this too. I can remember factual stuff, but sometimes I cannot recognise someone I met last week >_< It's embarrassing.

Oct 11 12 02:09 pm Link

Photographer

Sam Comer Photography

Posts: 2589

Knoxville, Tennessee, US

Magician/Entertainer Penn Jillette has this, as does neurologist Oliver Sachs of "Awakenings" fame.

Oct 11 12 02:12 pm Link

Photographer

Looknsee Photography

Posts: 21680

Portland, Oregon, US

Nice to know -- it's a bit embarrassing.  I've known I've had trouble in this area for a while, but I didn't know it was a recognized medical condition.

Oct 11 12 03:11 pm Link

Model

Sophia Be

Posts: 6354

Portland, Oregon, US

Looknsee Photography wrote:
Nice to know -- it's a bit embarrassing.  I've known I've had trouble in this area for a while, but I didn't know it was a recognized medical condition.

I can relate

My husband has worked at the same company for eons. I see his co workers all the time. Last month I called someone by the wrong name (wrong person entirely) I really should have known. I was mortified.

I asked him to take pictures of all of them so I could photoshop their names onto the pics and study them before work get togethers. He said no, but I was serious.

That's why I usually just call everyone pet names. Sweety, hun, dear, darling. It's a coping mechanism.

Not sure if it's a medical condition in my case (well, not facial blindness, most likely memory issues due to thyroid issues), as I do recognize people as people I know, I just can't place where I know them from or what their names are unless I know them well (or they stand out in some major way).

Oct 11 12 03:18 pm Link

Photographer

aspergianLens

Posts: 1955

Sacramento, California, US

Face-blindness is commonly associated with Asperger's Syndrome and other forms of Autism. 

Fortunately, I'm not affected that way.  I can recognize faces easily.  Unfortunately, many others on the spectrum are affected by this issue.

edit : in fact it's so strongly associated with A/AS that I am surprised it hadn't been mentioned already.

Oct 11 12 04:43 pm Link

Photographer

Orca Bay Images

Posts: 32234

Woodinville, Washington, US

Looknsee Photography wrote:
Anyone else similarly inflicted?

Not quite the same as your situation, but I can remember and distinguish faces very well, but I couldn't describe a face to a police sketch artist to save my life.

I'm also next to useless when it comes to remembering names and associating them with faces. I've always been that way. Names are so arbitrary, IMO.

Oct 11 12 04:50 pm Link

Model

Sophia Be

Posts: 6354

Portland, Oregon, US

aspergianLens wrote:
Face-blindness is commonly associated with Asperger's Syndrome and other forms of Autism. 

Fortunately, I'm not affected that way.  I can recognize faces easily.  Unfortunately, many others on the spectrum are affected by this issue.

edit : in fact it's so strongly associated with A/AS that I am surprised it hadn't been mentioned already.

Interesting. I didn't know that. My brother has Asperger's, not sure if he has issues with facial recognition or not.

Oct 11 12 05:45 pm Link

Photographer

BlueMoonPics

Posts: 4437

New York, New York, US

I saw a PBS show once about different brain studies.  One person had been in a motorcycle accident and had a brain injury to a specific part of the brain.  After his accident he could not recognize anyone.  He stated that all people look the same, like androids.  He can call out the eyes, lips and all other parts and notice differences but couldn't put it all together.

Oct 11 12 05:53 pm Link

Photographer

All Yours Photography

Posts: 2339

Toledo, Ohio, US

Sophia Be wrote:
I have a hard time recognizing faces and remembering names, or where I know someone from.


But apparently I have no trouble recognizing nekkid bodies. Twice this year I recognized two people that I hadn't seen in ten years based just upon there naked bodies. One gal I recognized on a nude beach from over 50 feet away. The other gal, I recognized her ass from behind at a titty bar lol

I do some side work running a photobooth for wedding receptions and such.  I was at one where a man and his 2 grown sons mooned the camera in the booth and put the photos in the album.

Later in the evening, the mother of the bride was leafing through the album and says "This probably sounds awful, but I recognize that butt.  Not the two on the sides, but the one in the middle."

Turns out that he was her brother.

Oct 11 12 05:58 pm Link

Photographer

aspergianLens

Posts: 1955

Sacramento, California, US

Sophia Be wrote:

Interesting. I didn't know that. My brother has Asperger's, not sure if he has issues with facial recognition or not.

It seems to be a common issue, but I think it may be more common with "classical" Autism than it is with Asperger's. 

In any case, a quick Google search for "face blindness asperger's" reveals many references to the issue.

Oct 11 12 06:30 pm Link

Model

Sophia Be

Posts: 6354

Portland, Oregon, US

All Yours Photography wrote:

I do some side work running a photobooth for wedding receptions and such.  I was at one where a man and his 2 grown sons mooned the camera in the booth and put the photos in the album.

Later in the evening, the mother of the bride was leafing through the album and says "This probably sounds awful, but I recognize that butt.  Not the two on the sides, but the one in the middle."

Turns out that he was her brother.

lol

Oct 11 12 06:46 pm Link