Medical Definition of Prosopagnosia (face blindness)

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

Prosopagnosia (face blindness): a neurological disorder characterized by an inability to recognize faces. Prosopagnosia is also known as face blindness or facial agnosia and varies in severity among affected individuals. It is believed to arise from damage to an area of the brain known as the right fusiform gyrus. This damage can be caused by trauma, stroke, or neurodegenerative diseases. Congenital (present at birth) cases have also been described. Prosopagnosia can result in long-term deficiencies in social functioning. There is no known cure, and treatment focuses on the development of compensatory social skills.

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Reviewed on 12/21/2018

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