The Professor is currently reading You Don’t Look Like Anyone I Know: A True Story of Family, Face Blindness and Forgiveness, by Heather Sellers. Sellers has prosopagnosia, commonly known as face blindness.
The word comes from the Greek prosopon, face, and agnosia, lack of knowledge. You may recognize the gnosis (“knowledge”) root from English words like diagnose or agnostic. People with this condition are unable to recognize others by their faces. This is not “They tell me we met at a party once, but I don’t recognize you.” People with prosopagnosia may be looking directly at someone they know—even a spouse, family member, or friend—and still not be able to tell who they are. They use cues such as voice or gait to identify people, or find other ways of managing. The condition can be either congenital or brought on by a brain injury.
To read more about prosopagnosia, visit the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.