Prosopagnosia, or face blindness, is a very real medical condition in which an afflicted individual is unable to distinguish facial characteristics of individuals, including friends, family, or even themselves. "60 Minutes" looked into the condition, and in the above video the show documents the rare neurological condition. The reporter even gets the perspective of Dr. Oliver Sacks, who is both a neurologist and a sufferer of face blindness. "60 Minutes" put together this quick test to see how you fare. Dr. Sacks wrote about his condition in a 2010 article for the New Yorker.
It was originally thought to have been induced only through acute brain damage, but doctors believe a congenital version of Prosopagnosia may be passed down genetically as well. An estimated 2.5 percent of the population may have inherited prosopagnosia, though many of the cases go diagnosed, according to a study in the Journal of Neuropsychology. As "60 Minutes" and other sources have noted, Prosopagnosia can often go undiagnosed because those with the condition often do not have the same trouble differentiating between other objects.
At the other end of the visual spectrum are those individuals considered to be "super recognizers," able to recognize the faces of individuals with few visual cues. In a video, "super recognizer" Jennifer Jarett shows her abilities in "The Before They Were Famous Test." You can watch the video and test your own facial recognition speed against Jarett's responses.
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- Oliver Sacks