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  • mary zeiler
    i don t know if everyone caught the article about PA in yesterday s economist. http://economist.com/science/displayStory.cfm?story_id=3445743 as my husband
    Message 1 of 24 , Dec 3, 2004
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      i don't know if everyone caught the article about PA
      in yesterday's economist.

      http://economist.com/science/displayStory.cfm?story_id=3445743

      as my husband says, "soon everyone will be wondering
      how to pronounce prosopagnosia."



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    • Glenn Alperin
      ... Well, they ll just have to learn that it is quite phonetically pleasing to pronounce, really not that hard once you break apart the syllables. :-) The
      Message 2 of 24 , Dec 4, 2004
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        mary zeiler wrote:

        > i don't know if everyone caught the article about PA
        > in yesterday's economist.
        >
        > http://economist.com/science/displayStory.cfm?story_id=3445743
        >
        > as my husband says, "soon everyone will be wondering
        > how to pronounce prosopagnosia."

        Well, they'll just have to learn that it is quite phonetically pleasing
        to pronounce, really not that hard once you break apart the syllables. :-)
        The real trick for most people is going to be to remember the syllables to
        pronounce. For me, of course, it rolls off my keyboard as easily as it rolls
        off my toungue, but I don't think the same can reasonably be said for most
        other people.

        As to the story itself, I find it interesting since I hadn't read about
        greebles in quite some time, though I did at one time have e-mail contact
        with the greeble "inventor", though I can't remember her name now. I do,
        however, take exception to the description of prosopagnosia in the article
        as follows:

        To people with prosopagnosia, the instant someone leaves their sight the
        memory of that person's face is blank—or, at best, a palette of muddled
        features.

        I think "blank" is a better description, but that is likely to occur a few minutes
        later, or perhaps even longer than that. As for "muddled features", that really
        only happens when I'm trying to do one of Brad Duchaine's specific tests which are
        practically designed to make me look....make me look like a person with prosopagnosia.
        :-)

        In any event, there are certain features which I find I can remember better than other
        features, but even that which i can remember isn't going to stay around in long term
        memory, only short term memory. The picture with the apple faces is very similar to
        my picture of me with my face whited out. The apples are much more creative, but they
        both get the idea across for what we remember admirably.

        Glenn
      • Bill Choisser
        ... It still trips my spell checker. It will be interesting to see when it stops. We are getting more well-known all the time. Because the word is used by a
        Message 3 of 24 , Dec 4, 2004
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          Glenn wrote:

          >> as my husband says, "soon everyone will be wondering
          >> how to pronounce prosopagnosia."
          >
          >Well, they'll just have to learn that it is quite phonetically pleasing
          >to pronounce, really not that hard once you break apart the syllables. :-)
          >The real trick for most people is going to be to remember the syllables to
          >pronounce. For me, of course, it rolls off my keyboard as easily as it rolls
          >off my toungue, but I don't think the same can reasonably be said for most
          >other people.

          It still trips my spell checker. It will be interesting to see when
          it stops. We are getting more well-known all the time.

          Because the word is used by a widely scattered and small population,
          it appears to not yet have an established pronunciation. People
          tend to trip over it, even people who "have it" (I've spoken to LOTS
          of them). Some people say it with the first three letters said like
          those of the word prose, and others say it like the first three
          letters are like those in prod. The second syllable I've heard
          said like sop and like the first half of supper. I tend to say
          prahsup for the first half, but I can't say the majority goes for
          any one pronunciation. As for the last half of the word, most
          people say agnozhuh, enough so that I'd say that part is established.
          Some do say agnosy-uh though.

          This reminds me of when they renamed a major street here to be
          "Cesar Chavez Street". It has turned out to have seven commonly
          used pronunciations by the various locals here in town. But a
          cabbie recently told me 90% of the people who get into his cab
          just call it by its old name, "Army Street". Everyone agreed how
          to pronounce that. They renamed it about ten years ago, so people
          are really resistant to a name they can't easily pronounce.

          >As to the story itself, I find it interesting since I hadn't read about
          >greebles in quite some time, though I did at one time have e-mail contact
          >with the greeble "inventor", though I can't remember her name now. I do,
          >however, take exception to the description of prosopagnosia in the article
          >as follows:
          >
          > To people with prosopagnosia, the instant someone leaves their sight the
          > memory of that person's face is blank—or, at best, a palette of muddled
          > features.
          >
          >I think "blank" is a better description, but that is likely to occur a few
          minutes
          >later, or perhaps even longer than that. As for "muddled features", that
          really
          >only happens when I'm trying to do one of Brad Duchaine's specific tests
          which are
          >practically designed to make me look....make me look like a person with
          prosopagnosia.
          >:-)
          >
          >In any event, there are certain features which I find I can remember better
          than other
          >features, but even that which i can remember isn't going to stay around in
          long term
          >memory, only short term memory. The picture with the apple faces is very
          similar to
          >my picture of me with my face whited out. The apples are much more
          creative, but they
          >both get the idea across for what we remember admirably.

          Hmmm. I don't see faces like that at all. I see faces. Glenn, can
          you see zits on your face? Have you ever popped one? Can you see
          when it heals and has gone away? Can you see food stuck on your chin?
          Have you ever told anyone else they had food on their face? If somebody
          has a black eye, can you see that? If somebody asks you, "What color
          are my eyes?" can you tell them? If they ask you how many eyes they
          have, or how many holes they have in the bottom of their nose, can
          you tell them the answer? I can do all of those things. What I
          can't do is READ a face. I can't tell who they are or what they are
          feeling.

          Is there anyone on here who has normal vision otherwise, and who
          really sees holes where faces are? Do you, Glenn? Personally, I know
          people without face blindness who have imagined it to be that way but
          that's not what people who actually have face blindness have ever said.

          Bill
        • Glenn Alperin
          ... Yes to all of these questions, but will I be able to remember these details at a later point in time? Maybe, but probably not. Don t forget, the apples
          Message 4 of 24 , Dec 4, 2004
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            Bill Choisser wrote:

            > Glenn wrote:
            >
            >>As to the story itself, I find it interesting since I hadn't read about
            >>greebles in quite some time, though I did at one time have e-mail contact
            >>with the greeble "inventor", though I can't remember her name now. I do,
            >>however, take exception to the description of prosopagnosia in the article
            >>as follows:
            >>
            >> To people with prosopagnosia, the instant someone leaves their sight the
            >> memory of that person's face is blank—or, at best, a palette of muddled
            >> features.
            >>
            >>I think "blank" is a better description, but that is likely to occur a few minutes
            >>later, or perhaps even longer than that. As for "muddled features", that really
            >>only happens when I'm trying to do one of Brad Duchaine's specific tests which are
            >>practically designed to make me look....make me look like a person with prosopagnosia.
            >>:-)
            >>
            >>In any event, there are certain features which I find I can remember better than other
            >>features, but even that which i can remember isn't going to stay around in long term
            >>memory, only short term memory. The picture with the apple faces is very similar to
            >>my picture of me with my face whited out. The apples are much more creative, but they
            >>both get the idea across for what we remember admirably.
            >
            > Hmmm. I don't see faces like that at all. I see faces. Glenn, can
            > you see zits on your face? Have you ever popped one? Can you see
            > when it heals and has gone away? Can you see food stuck on your chin?
            > Have you ever told anyone else they had food on their face? If somebody
            > has a black eye, can you see that?

            Yes to all of these questions, but will I be able to remember these details
            at a later point in time? Maybe, but probably not. Don't forget, the apples
            are a representation of memory, not a representation of what is actually seen.
            Bill, imagine that all of the people in that picture were women. I don't think
            it would matter to you if they had apple faces or not, especially since you've
            already established for yourself that you are incapable of adequately recognizing
            women.

            > If somebody asks you, "What color
            > are my eyes?" can you tell them?

            Not easily. This has always been something of a fascination to many people.
            Frankly, I really don't pay much, if any, attention to a person's eyes, either
            for recognition purposes or social purposes. Sure, I've been socially trained
            to periodically look people in the eye when talking to them, and to be more
            aggressive about doing so as the seriousness of conversation increases, but that
            doesn't mean I could tell you what color their eyes are afterwards. As for myself,
            I've been told on various occasions that I have either hazel or brown eyes, so I
            really don't know what color eyes I have, nor does it really matter to me.
            Even when I look in a mirror, I really don't look at such miniscule details.

            > If they ask you how many eyes they
            > have, or how many holes they have in the bottom of their nose, can
            > you tell them the answer?

            These I can do just fine and with ease. The difference here, of course, is that
            the human species, for wahtever reason, developed with the same qunatity of facial
            features regardless of the person involved. I contend that it would make a person
            far easier to recognize if they only had one hole in the bottom of their nose,
            or if they only had one eye. I'm not expecting to meet such a person, of course,
            but I bet they'd be pretty easily recognizable if I did.

            > I can do all of those things. What I
            > can't do is READ a face. I can't tell who they are or what they are
            > feeling.

            Under testing circumstances, my ability to READ a face fails miserably for
            almost any emotion other than "happy", but given a specific context, I tend
            to have much better results. I'm not at all sure how much of this can be
            attributed to reading a face as opposed to reading a body or picking up on
            various other contextual or auditory clues. In general, I find that I tend to
            do much better with this kind of stuff in the real world than I do in the
            testing environment.

            > Is there anyone on here who has normal vision otherwise, and who
            > really sees holes where faces are? Do you, Glenn?

            I can't give specifics, but I can say that I have had e-mail contact with
            one or two people who have described to me that for quite a length of time,
            they didn't realize people had faces, and that they had to work quite a bit
            to establish for themselves that faces even existed. Based upon their
            descriptions, I can only surmise that some people really do see the world
            through a description which is at least similar to what you are describing,
            Bill.

            > Personally, I know
            > people without face blindness who have imagined it to be that way but
            > that's not what people who actually have face blindness have ever said.

            I agree that the vast majority of us do not experience it this way at all.
            I also agree that many people have imagined this to be the way we see faces.
            What I tried to do with the picture of me available online at
            http://home.earthlink.net/~blankface/index.html is to provide an explanation
            of the differences between what I see and what I remember. In fact, I
            specifically used the word "remember" and not the word "see" to describe my
            own impression of such a picture. I don't think this is all that far off the
            mark for how many people with prosopagnosia REMEMBER people, but it does have
            nothing to do with how we SEE people, except in the most extreme cases of which
            I've only heard from one or two people as I mentioned above.

            > Bill

            Glenn
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