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OhkaBaka
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29 Dec 2016, 5:56 pm

My wife was reading a great article about aphantasia the other day (its the inability to see something with the minds eye, to visualize or imagine how things appear), she asked me if I had the ability to imagine the way things looked. Of course I did, (not knowing there was an alternative), I'm an artist... so... obviously.

How could someone FUNCTION without that?

Our conversation looped around to different things until I ended up taking an online quiz about aphantasia that had a couple questions I answered "no" to instead of an obvious yes... and I made a shocking discovery about myself.

I'm somewhat faceblind... which is not the discovery, I've known that most of my life, even before I knew it was a thing that had a name. I identify people by a number of factors, and while, if I'm looking at you, I can tell its you (sometimes you might need to talk first)... but...

This quiz asked me about places I've been or imagined, and if I could see them clearly... and yeah... down to the details on the gravel loosely gathered at the corner of the sidewalk...

I can't visualize my wife's face... or my son...

Thats not right! I proclaim, before stumbling on the WEIRDEST part... I totally have this image of my wife in my head when she cut her hair... or my son as a baby peeking out of a cardboard box.

Then I realized those are ACTUAL IMAGES... I remember, in detail, what my wife and son look like in pictures because I can remember the pictures, not the moments.

A few days ago I passed a woman on the street, she had stupefyingly beautiful eyes. I stared longer than I should have because I was disarmed. It is a bit embarrassing to say because I don't tend to react like that, but I just got lost for a moment. These were probably the most beautiful eyes I've ever seen.

Eventually she passed me, and I was on my way again. It only took several seconds for me to lose my perception of her. I have no idea what she looked like. I couldn't tell you why I thought her eyes were beautiful. I can't imagine what I saw, literally.

I've been discovering some other really cool but potentially REALLY mental personality bits associated with this, as well as some personal insight into things like being able to read expressions... and I wondered what our fair community thinks?

Are you faceblind? Can you remember faces when they aren't in front of you (at different levels of importance, too... I THINK I can remember my mom's face from right before she passed... I think I can remember my dad's face... I get momentary flashes of other peoples faces but I can't hold them)...

Share your feelings, I wanna know!



voidnull
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29 Dec 2016, 6:08 pm

That's really interesting; I'm right now realising that when I think of the faces of anyone I know, I'm referring to particular photographs I've seen of them. I CAN seem to picture a potato-basic 3d model of the shape of their skulls though?


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EclecticWarrior
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29 Dec 2016, 6:15 pm

I have faceblindness but it tends to be contextual- if I see someone I know in a context in which I am familiar with them I can recognise them. Otherwise I can't unless they have a distinguishing feature I can pick up on. This may sound rude but it's the only way I can recognise people.


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IstominFan
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29 Dec 2016, 7:01 pm

I think I have mild prosopagnosia, the medical term for face blindness. I recognize familiar faces but, occasionally, I'll draw a blank on the faces of casual acquaintances. In the case of famous people, I know them much more for what they have done than by how they look. I took the face recognition test and scored better than I thought I would, but still not spectacular.



EzraS
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29 Dec 2016, 9:51 pm

EclecticWarrior wrote:
I have faceblindness but it tends to be contextual- if I see someone I know in a context in which I am familiar with them I can recognise them. Otherwise I can't unless they have a distinguishing feature I can pick up on. This may sound rude but it's the only way I can recognise people.


It's pretty much like that for me too.



248RPA
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29 Dec 2016, 10:02 pm

Once when watching an old TV episode, I mixed up a dead character with several live characters because of this faceblindness. I was confused about who died for most of the episode (it was a murder mystery).

In my defense that character was a woman, and almost all the female characters in the episode were white, slim, and had similar hair colour.


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SteveSnow
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30 Dec 2016, 9:54 am

I recently found out that I have Prosopagnosia. I always thought it was strange that people could remember me so easily despite the changes in dress and body shape. I realize now that if someone asked me to draw my family's faces or describe them I couldn't even being to, much less people I meet casually.


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OhkaBaka
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30 Dec 2016, 11:01 am

voidnull wrote:
That's really interesting; I'm right now realising that when I think of the faces of anyone I know, I'm referring to particular photographs I've seen of them. I CAN seem to picture a potato-basic 3d model of the shape of their skulls though?


YES! That is amazing...

I can actually see the "hole" where they should be like a mannequin stand in for the person I'm imagining.



OhkaBaka
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30 Dec 2016, 11:06 am

SteveSnow wrote:
I realize now that if someone asked me to draw my family's faces or describe them I couldn't even being to, much less people I meet casually.


I'm more excited to find other people with this than I should be.



OhkaBaka
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30 Dec 2016, 11:12 am

248RPA wrote:
Once when watching an old TV episode, I mixed up a dead character with several live characters because of this faceblindness. I was confused about who died for most of the episode (it was a murder mystery).


Weirdly I don't experience this. Presumably because motion pictures are ultimately pictures. I generally have no trouble identifying individual actors...* though I am CERTAIN that if I met an actor IRL I wouldn't recognize them.

* Scott Glenn not withstanding... I went a decade thinking he was Carradine before remembering Carradine was dead... but come on... they are basically twins.



eric76
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30 Dec 2016, 11:18 am

OhkaBaka wrote:
My wife was reading a great article about aphantasia the other day (its the inability to see something with the minds eye, to visualize or imagine how things appear), she asked me if I had the ability to imagine the way things looked. Of course I did, (not knowing there was an alternative), I'm an artist... so... obviously.

How could someone FUNCTION without that?

Our conversation looped around to different things until I ended up taking an online quiz about aphantasia that had a couple questions I answered "no" to instead of an obvious yes... and I made a shocking discovery about myself.

I'm somewhat faceblind... which is not the discovery, I've known that most of my life, even before I knew it was a thing that had a name. I identify people by a number of factors, and while, if I'm looking at you, I can tell its you (sometimes you might need to talk first)... but...

This quiz asked me about places I've been or imagined, and if I could see them clearly... and yeah... down to the details on the gravel loosely gathered at the corner of the sidewalk...

I can't visualize my wife's face... or my son...

Thats not right! I proclaim, before stumbling on the WEIRDEST part... I totally have this image of my wife in my head when she cut her hair... or my son as a baby peeking out of a cardboard box.

Then I realized those are ACTUAL IMAGES... I remember, in detail, what my wife and son look like in pictures because I can remember the pictures, not the moments.

A few days ago I passed a woman on the street, she had stupefyingly beautiful eyes. I stared longer than I should have because I was disarmed. It is a bit embarrassing to say because I don't tend to react like that, but I just got lost for a moment. These were probably the most beautiful eyes I've ever seen.

Eventually she passed me, and I was on my way again. It only took several seconds for me to lose my perception of her. I have no idea what she looked like. I couldn't tell you why I thought her eyes were beautiful. I can't imagine what I saw, literally.

I've been discovering some other really cool but potentially REALLY mental personality bits associated with this, as well as some personal insight into things like being able to read expressions... and I wondered what our fair community thinks?

Are you faceblind? Can you remember faces when they aren't in front of you (at different levels of importance, too... I THINK I can remember my mom's face from right before she passed... I think I can remember my dad's face... I get momentary flashes of other peoples faces but I can't hold them)...

Share your feelings, I wanna know!
Aphantasia is not face blindness.

As others have pointed out, prosopagnosia is the name for the condition for having great difficulty identifying faces.

Aphantasia is the inability to visualize something. For example, can you visualize a tropical beach with white sands, blue water, palm trees above the high water line, a hot sun? Some people can apparently visualize that in their mind and see it as though they are standing on a beach looking at it.



SteveSnow
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30 Dec 2016, 11:25 am

OhkaBaka wrote:
I'm more excited to find other people with this than I should be.


I don't think that's unreasonable. It's nice to not feel strange/alone.


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248RPA
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30 Dec 2016, 11:30 am

OhkaBaka wrote:
248RPA wrote:
Once when watching an old TV episode, I mixed up a dead character with several live characters because of this faceblindness. I was confused about who died for most of the episode (it was a murder mystery).


Weirdly I don't experience this. Presumably because motion pictures are ultimately pictures. I generally have no trouble identifying individual actors...* though I am CERTAIN that if I met an actor IRL I wouldn't recognize them.


I think it was influenced by the lack of diversity in the actresses' appearances. I have this problem less with more modern films because I think there is more diversity nowadays. That episode from 1987.


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OhkaBaka
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30 Dec 2016, 11:44 am

eric76 wrote:
Aphantasia is not face blindness.
As others have pointed out, prosopagnosia is the name for the condition for having great difficulty identifying faces.


Thank you, but I wasn't saying it was. Sorry I confused you.



friedmacguffins
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30 Dec 2016, 1:11 pm

Interesting things for face-blind people to do --
lip read
draw faces
pareidolia



OhkaBaka
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30 Dec 2016, 1:45 pm

friedmacguffins wrote:
Interesting things for face-blind people to do --
lip read
draw faces
pareidolia


Draw faces of people they know... or just faces? I'm a cartoonist/artist... I draw faces all the time, but I realized I can't do caricatures or portraits because I can't see "real" faces in my head enough to get them down. I've drawn a few portraits, but always from a photo.