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Prepare for this week’s discussion by viewing the Ted Talk video on Facial Recognition located at
Then, review the information on vision in Chapter 6 of the course textbook; Pinel, J. (2014). Biopsychology (9th edition). Pearson Publishing. , particularly the information on disorders of visual perception. Select one of the disorders covered in the book (simultanagnosia, prosopagnosia, ocular apraxia, optic ataxia, or Balint’s syndrome) and research its clinical etiology, symptoms, and treatments. Think about its symptoms and problems commonly experienced by people diagnosed with it and its impact on important areas of life functioning, including work, relationships, and leisure time. Locate an APUS Online Library research article or other scientifically grounded information about this disorder and report the etiology, symptoms, treatments, and areas of the brain responsible for it and specific behaviors it affects. What would you expect to be the must challenging aspects of the disorder for you if you had it.Prosopagnosia is also known as visual agnosia or face blindness for faces. Meaning that a person with this disorder can recognize a face as being a face, but they have difficulties in recognizing the exact details of a particular face, therefore, making it hard to identify a specific person.
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For years, the cause of Prosopagnosia was thought to have been usually caused from trauma to the brain, typically from a stroke or head injury. (Harris, 2007) However, in more recent studies, studies have proved that prosopagnosia is not always caused from injury to the brain. This other form of prosopagnosia is called developmental or congenital prosopagnosia is a lifelong condition due to a malfunction in the brain. (Cook & Biotti, 2016)
Acquired prosopagnosia is usually associated with bilateral damage to the visual cortex, specifically the fusiform gyrus. (Pinel, 2013) The fusiform gyrus is part of the temporal lobe and occipital lobe of the brain. (Pinel, 2013) Often times developmental prosopagnosia does not show obvious damage to this area of the brain, studies have shown that this area is not exactly in the perfect condition either with white matter present in this region. (Harris, 2007)
A person with this neurological disorder also may show signs of impaired memory and perception. Due to these impairments, it can seem difficult for a person to recognize faces forcing them to rely on other objects such as hairstyles, voice and other non-facial features to assist them in recognizing a person. (Harris, 2007)
Anyone suffering from this disorder may not only have a difficult time in recognizing faces, but they may have a difficult time is following television shows, names of those they can’t recognize and have shown signs of short-term memory loss. (Sandor, Morath, Hess, Kaube, Agosti & Regard, 2006) Symptoms also associated with this disorder include weakness, confusion, numbness, difficulty speaking, vision loss and/or double vision. (Sandor, Morath, Hess, Kaube, Agosti & Regard, 2006)
Currently, there are still little studies done for the treatment of prosopagnosia and no formal treatment for this disorder. However, there have been attempts to remedy this disorder by using re-training methods and temporary pharmaceutical interventions. (Brunsdon, Coltheart, Nickels & Joy, 2006) This means that in order to treat this disorder, professionals attempt to use recognition training by trying to familiarize the patient with objects related to faces, and by using other objects to help them remember how to recognize faces once more.
Prosopagnosia is indeed a difficult disorder to have to live with in any situation. Facial recognition already is a difficult thing to master like presented in our video this week. Many people like Dr. Butcher mentioned, unknowingly already have a difficult time in mastering facial recognition, however those who suffer from prosopagnosia must overcome many more obstacles. (Butcher, 2016) If an individual suffers from prosopagnosia, they may find it difficult to recognize loved ones, friends, colleagues, co-workers or those they do not associate well with. This could be an issue and place them in danger because of the lack of awareness to those around them. This disorder could also be stressful, embarrassing and have an impact on someone’s emotional health. For children, this could be dangerous if they are unable to recognize family members or proper authorities. As I previously mentioned, those who suffer from this disorder have been known to have a difficult time in watching television or movies in their spare time because of being unable to recognize the characters already presented. Having prosopagnosia although mainly associated with facial recognition, can eventually lead to memory loss and the inability to recognize other things.
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