You could be one of 3 per cent of people with face blindness
Face blindness likely affects three percent of the world’s population, significantly more people than previously thought, new research suggests.
Face blindness, also known as developmental prosopagnosia, was previously thought to affect 2 to 2.5 percent of people.
But researchers at Harvard Medical School and the VA Boston Health System was found that of the 3,341 individuals involved in their study, 31 developed severe propagnosia and 72 developed a milder form.
Face blindness, a mysterious condition in which an individual perceives their faces as unfamiliar, or recognizes the faces of strangers, can cause serious social anxiety, according to researchers.
The results of a Harvard study published in a scientific journal Shell last month, they are “important on several levels,” according to psychiatrist Joseph De Gutis.
“Most researchers have used too strict diagnostic criteria, and many individuals with significant facial recognition problems in everyday life have been mistakenly told they do not have prosopagnosia,” he said. said.
The web-based study tested participants using a variety of methods, including asking them if they had trouble recognizing faces in everyday life and asking if they could identify the faces of celebrities and other famous people. That test can be completed online.
“Face blindness is fascinating on several levels,” DeGutis said in an interview with Harvard Medical School. “People are very good at recognizing familiar faces, and it’s done with very little effort. We know that this facial “superpower” relies on several specific perceptual processes; for example, full face treatment. seeing the face as an integrated whole; memory processes, easily associating faces with person-related knowledge; and specialized brain mechanisms and regions, such as the fusiform face area.’
Researchers say prosopagnosia, or face blindness, can result from brain damage to the occipital or temporal regions of the brain, but it’s rare and affects about one in 33,000 Americans.
It can also be a lifelong condition caused by genetic or developmental abnormalities. The condition is called developmental prosopagnosia, De Gutis said.
The psychologist said researchers hope the results will lead to expanded diagnosis, as even a mild form can have negative effects and can be treated in different ways than more severe cases.
He also said earlier diagnosis could help those with the disease control their age-related decline in the future.
Reporting for this story was paid for through the Meta-funded Afghanistan Reporters in Residence program.
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