prosopagnosia /praws-ə-pag-NOH-zhyə/. noun. An inability to recognize familiar, or what should be well-known, faces. Commonly(ish) known as “face blindness.” From Greek prosōpon (face) + a (without) + gnōsis(knowledge).
“Due to his impact with the beech tree, the flubbery rattle of the brain within its shell referred to technically as ‘coup contracoup,’ Joe lost most of his ability at visual memory, even for faces such as his mother’s and my own, a deficiency called ‘prosopagnosia.’” (Jim Harrison)
“Dr Kertesz mentioned to me a case known to him of a farmer who had developed prosopagnosia and in consequence could no longer distinguish (the faces of) his cows, and of another such patient, an attendant in a Natural History Museum, who mistook his own reflection for the diorama of an ape. As with Dr P., and as with Macrae and Trolle’s patient, it is especially the animate which is so absurdly misperceived.” (Oliver Sacks)
“Headaches, disordered speech, weakness, visual disturbances, nausea, numbness, paralysis. Prosopagnosia, pareidolia. The softening sky reflected in the water. Silver but appearing rose gold in that light. The momentary sense of having traveled back in time.” (Ben Lerner)
“Some were consoled by Weber’s bombshell: a simple neurological quirk that revealed how everyone suffered from a form of prosopagnosia. Even normal recognition fails when the observed face is upside down.” (Richard Powers)