Thursday, March 29, 2007

Recognizing Hands and Faces

Dealing With Face Blindness -

I found this news story from last year - an interview with a woman about living with Prosopagnosia. There was a pertinent quote by the woman, Kathy, who was the subject of the story:

"Kathy says it's not that her vision is blurry, but instead faces are no more unique to her than hands are to us."

Now that I have started telling a few people about my Prosopagnosia, I am always looking for a way to explain it to people, and this is one of the better ones I have come across. We have all looked at people's hands, seen them, and then forgotten what they looked like once we walked away. Most people would be hard pressed to recognize someone else by hands alone.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The Faceblind View: Pan's Labyrinth review

The Faceblind View: Pan's Labyrinth review

From Andrea's movie reviews for Prosopagnosics blog. Will you be able to tell the characters apart?

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Prosopagnosia Key Words and Abbreviations

This list is really helpful if you start reading more about Prosopagnosia. PA's tend to use a lot of abbreviations:) It is from (a few minor edits have been made).

List of words related to face-blindness.

AC - Autistics and cousins (sometimes seen, but seldom, on the face blind lists) (Bill)

AS - Abbreviation for "Asperger's syndrome". (Bill)

ASD - Autistic Spectrum Disorder. The acronym ASD is used on many lists that discuss
Autism, Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Aspergers Syndrome, Tourettes Syndrome, and (sometimes) Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. (Julianne Douglass`)

Aspergers syndrome - A condition where a person has a collection of neurological deficits, considered by some to be a less severe case of autism. Quite a few Aspergers are face blind, though not all face blind people have Aspergers. (Bill)

Autistic Spectrum - An umbrella term used to cover all of the conditions (autism, Asperger, Tourette, etc.) which are considered to be related with each other based upon their underlying criteria and severity with which they seem to affect the people who have have the condition. (Glenn)

CAPD - Abbreviation for "central auditory processing disorder". (Bill)

Central auditory processing disorder - a sound processing deficit in which sounds are scrambled in the brain. Quite a few face blind people have CAPD, though CAPD is quite common and most people with it are not face blind. (Bill)

Essences - a term covering demeanor, body language, and emotions, when these things are used as a face blind person's primary way of telling people apart. (Bill)

FB - face-blind (Cecilia)

fb-folks - The private mailing-list that is strictly for people with PA. More info can be found at

fb-public - The public message board about PA found at (Cecilia)

FFA - Fusiform face area - the part of the brain some researchers believe recognizes faces (Bill)

fMRI - Abbreviation for Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging, a technique that shows what part of the brain is being used at a given instant (Bill)

Gorbachev effect - the situation that face blind people can all recognize someone with a striking physical difference. These are usually ugly differences because people strikingly beautiful tend to look quite average (origin: the statement that "all face blind people can recognize Gorbachev") (Bill)

Key traits - (or just "traits") - characteristics of others that a face blind person concentrates on in building his filing system for telling people apart (Bill)

NT - short for NeuroTypical, i.e., any person who has a "normal functioning" brain. Despite how this sounds, it is not considered a derogatory comment. John Smith would be a typical NT. (Glenn and Cecilia)

PA - prosopagnosia (Cecilia)

Place blind - common name for "topographic (or topographical) agnosia" (Bill)

Topographic agnosia - the inability to visualize and process places. This causes one to have difficulty with getting lost. Quite a few face blind people have topographic agnosia, though not all persons with either condition have the other. (Bill)

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Good Map Feature

Not only does downtown Houston, have street maps posted around the city core on lamp posts, it has also done a great job making the maps easily readable for Topographical (or navigational) Agnosics.

Each map is oriented to the specific spot where it is posted, so that UP on the map is always STRAIGHT AHEAD. If only all maps where posted like this.
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