It’s true. I’m pretty sure that I have Prosopagnosia and I’ve had it a lot longer than 4 hours. I’ve had it my whole life in fact. I’m not running to the doctor though.
Prosopagnosia is often referred to as face-blindness. My ability to recognize faces is simply not like most other people’s. It’s terrible. It’s not like I mistake my friends for my wife or anything like that. It’s just that given two similar faces, I can’t tell them apart. For example, when watching a movie, I’ll confuse Leo DiCaprio and Matt Damon or I won’t recognize Scarlett Johansson when she is a brunette. I may recognize that Morena Baccarin looks familiar in an episode of Numbers, but not place her as the popular character Inara in Firefly/Serenity, a series I’ve seen twice and the a movie I’ve seen probably around 40 times (yes, I really enjoy it that much). The problem for me? Baccarin cut her hair very, very short after the Firefly/Serenity.
The problem that I have with movies is that there aren’t contextual clues to help me. Since I only seem to have a mild form and real life seems to contain plenty of contextual clues it rarely becomes an issue. On rare occasions though, a person will be in a place where I didn’t expect them and the trigger might not go off that I know them. It’s times like these that I probably come off as a royal snob.
My point to all this? I want to raise awareness of it in general. Most people don’t know it exists. However for a better read check out Nate St. Pierre’s excellent post on the topic.