The Atlantic - Living With Face Blindness < 5min

Prosopagnosia is a condition that can make it impossible to recognize the faces of others, from friends to movie characters to parents. To varying degrees, it affects about two percent of people. ... In 2007, Glenn Alperin was flying from Atlanta to Boston. “I was reading a newspaper when this man came up to me and shook my hand. He went down the aisle shaking hands with all of the passengers,” Alperin recalls. “I waited until he was at a safe distance and turned to the man sitting next to me and asked him who that was. The guy looked at me, horrified and said, ‘That was Jimmy Carter!’” Dressed in a fishing hat and an oversized green jacket, Alperin has just finished his session at a day treatment center in Cambridge, Massachusetts He makes his way to the subway station, carefully deliberating which train to take to Brookline, where he will tutor his first student of the day. “I don’t look at people until I am spoken to,” says Alperin, who’s had prosopagnosia since infancy. He provides an interesting analogy: “Most people take a picture with their brain and store and develop the film. I take the picture, but throw the film in the trash immediately.”