home people research publications links photos internal

Congenital/Developmental Prosopagnosia (Face Blindness)

People with congenital prosopagnosia (CP), sometimes called face blindness, experience difficulty recognizing and remembering faces all their lives. Because of this difficulty, they often have to rely on other cues, such as hairstyle, clothing, voice, or gait, in order to recognize a person. Congenital prosopagnosics differ from acquired prosopagnosics, in that their problems with face recognition don't result from injuries to the brain or difficulties seeing more generally. They are also considered to be distinct from persons who have face recognition problems as a result of other conditions, such as autism.

For more general information on prosopagnosia, check out the links we have included at the bottom of this page. In addition, if you think you might have prosopagnosia, you can try taking the facial recognition and memory tests provided by the Prosopagnosia Research Centers at Dartmouth College, Harvard University, and University College London. Below is a graph comparing the accuracy and reaction times of congenital prosopagnosics and age-matched controls who took the Cambridge Face Memory Test.

Research participants needed

We are currently studying face recognition and its representation within the brain, and are looking to recruit congenital prosopagnosics who can help us understand the differences in face processing between those with and without CP.

If you have trouble recognizing faces and believe you might have CP and would be interested in finding out more, or participating in behavioral and brain imaging studies, please contact

Nathan Witthoft at witthoft@stanford.edu

To find out more about what our lab does, click here.

Inflated cortical surfaces showing the relationship between anatomy, retinotopy, and two kinds of category selectivity the right hemisphere of a single subject [2].


1. Duchaine & Nakayama. Neuropsychologia 2006.
2. Witthoft, N., Nguyen M., Golarai G., LaRocque K, Liberman A, Smith, ME, Grill-Spector K., Cerbral Cortex, Epub April 16th 2013