Saturday, March 17, 2012

TV alert: Prosopagnosia on 60 Minutes

This Sunday (March 18) CBS' 60 Minutes is airing a two-segment episode on prosopagnosia. Also known as face blindness, prosopagnosia is a disorder in which a person with otherwise normal vision cannot recognize faces. (If you can't see the preview above, click here to go to the 60 Minutes site.)

I first learned about prosopagnosia years ago when reading about Dr. P, the title case in Oliver Sacks' book The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat. It's ironic, of course, that Dr. Sacks himself has recently disclosed his own prosopagnosia and appears in the program too. Dr. Sacks and the artist Chuck Close who also has prosopagnosia were featured talking about the disorder in a 2010 Radiolab podcast called Strangers in The Mirror.

I'm setting my TiVo to record 60 Minutes on Sunday - plus extra time in case the NCAA games run long. If you watch it and have thoughts about the program, or have other prosopagnosia resources to share, please do so in the comments below.

--posted by Steve


mrmitchythekid said...

I was glad to see this video! I was recently listening to a "Stuff You Should Know" Podcast called "What are microexpressions?" and they discussed face blindness, something that I think would be very difficult to live with. Its a good Podcast to listen to about our face and brain. You can download it on iTunes. Thanks for the video!

Tara said...

I think this was a great program. It brings attention to a condition that is very hard to get people to understand.

My favorite part was when they flipped the faces upside down and even the interviewer could not recognize people. The entire face was seen, the knowledge they should be identifiable was there, yet there was no spark of familiarity.

I wish I could take this example everywhere I go. I have severe prosopagnosia and hope to help more people understand this condition. Thank you for helping people learn.