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Prosopagnosia

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Synonyms

Face blindness or facial agnosia

Definition

The term prosopagnosia is derived from the Greek word prosopon, meaning “face” and the Greek word agnosia which means “without knowledge.” Prosopagnosia is a deficit in the ability to recognize faces. This disorder is one type of visual agnosia, characterized by deficits in visual perception while still having normal vision; the afflicted individuals are not blind or often not greatly visually impaired in any usual sense of these conditions. Yet individuals with visual agnosia cannot visually recognize familiar objects, [6]. Individuals with prosopagnosia cannot recognize familiar faces or even their own face in a mirror or a photograph. Individuals with this facial agnosia must “know” who they are seeing in the mirror but have difficulty accepting the fact that they cannot recognize their own face. Kolb and Whishaw [4] describe a case of a woman who only became fully cognizant of her disorder when she was “introduced” to her...

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References

  1. Baars, B. J., & Gage, N. M. (2007). Cognition, brain and consciousness: Introduction to cognitive neuroscience. New York: Elsevier.

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  4. Kolb, B., & Whishaw, I. Q. (2009). Fundamentals of human neuropsychology (6th ed.). New York: Worth.

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  5. Grand, L., Cooper, P. A., Mondloch, C. J., Lewis, T. L., Sagiv, N., de Gelder, B., et al. (2006). What aspects of face processing are impaired in developmental prosopagnosia? Brain and Cognition, 61, 139–158.

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© 2011 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC

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Phelps, B.I. (2011). Prosopagnosia. In: Goldstein, S., Naglieri, J.A. (eds) Encyclopedia of Child Behavior and Development. Springer, Boston, MA. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-79061-9_2276

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