Prosopagnosia / Prosopometamorphopsia
Will you easily recognise your family members if they would change their hairstyle? Would you easily recognise a friend if you accidently met her in the post office? Some people will not. These individuals find the task of recognising other people just by looking at their face extremely difficult. Thus, in order to recognise familiar people, they will rely on such features as the voice, hairstyle, and clothing items, or on contextual information. Neurologists call this face blindness PROSOPAGNOSIA. Prosopagnosia is a relatively rare condition and may result from stroke or brain injury. Nevertheless, in some cases, prosopagnosia can occur with no apparent neural damage and be present from early childhood (just as in the case of dyslexia). We refer to this condition as congenital prosopagnosia or developmental prosopagnosia.
As noted above, prosopagnosia can sometimes occur after brain damage. This can result in poor performance on face recognition tests, but it can also results in distortions of the seen face image. Suprisingly, in very few studies patients have been asked what faces actually look like. Do faces appear distorted in any way? When faces appear distorted, we call it prosopometamorphopsia.
Some examples of distortion include: (1) The face or a part of it constantly appear distorted (2) Episodes in which patients might see the wrong face on people's heads. Needless to say, this can be a rather frightning experience for patients. We are trying to understand this condition and would like to hear from you if you experience(d) this.
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Please note: We could share our findings with you. However, we cannot offer medical advice. If you are concerned about any cognitive, perceptual or motor problem, you should talk to your doctor.