is a rare disorder characterized the inability to recognize faces,
including one's own in the mirror, inability to recognize previously
familiar faces, including, friends and family. The sufferers knows
that they are looking at a face but they cannot say who the face belongs
to. However, recognition of familiar people can sometimes be preserved
but it depends upon such cues as; gait, clothing, voice etc. The main
characteristics of the disorder are:
Selective inability to recognize faces, although other visual objects
may be correctly identified.
The inability to identify a familiar face of a family members and
friends. There may also be the inability to recognize their own face
in a mirror.
Accurate judgments about gender, age and emotion are still intact
and can recall detailed information about a specific individual if
No indications of object agnosia.
The person may
be able to imagine faces of familiar people.
May be able to differentiate between faces and other objects.
May not be able to match unfamiliar faces.
Some disorders have similar symptoms. The clinician, therefore, in
his diagnostic attempt, has to differentiate against the following
disorders which need to be ruled out to establish a precise diagnosis.
Agnosia of which Prosopagnosis may be a symptom is a disorder which
the person looses the ability ability to recognize objects, people,
sounds, shapes, or smells; that is, the inability to attach appropriate
meaning to objective sense-data.
Not a general
It typically results
from damage to specific brain areas in the occipital or parietal lobes
of the brain.
Treatment is generally symptomatic
and supportive. The primary cause of the disorder should be determined
in order to treat other problems that may contribute to or result
and Psychotherapy [ See
Therapy Section ]