Are there advantages to prosopagnosia?

The artist Chuck Close, who is famous for his gigantic portraits of faces, has severe, lifelong prosopagnosia.  He believes it has played a crucial role in driving his unique artistic vision.  "I don't know who anyone is and essentially have no memory at all for people in real space," he says.  "But when I flatten them out in a photograph I can commit that image to memory."

That is from a recent NY article by Oliver Sacks, not on-line but gated here.  Sacks himself has this condition, as did Jane Goodall, including when she worked with chimpanzees.

Here is a new study on the neural basis of prosopagnosia.


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