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Facial recognition test - The Ex-Communicator

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June 20th, 2011


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06:47 pm - Facial recognition test
Prosopagnosia is face-blindness. Sufferers find it difficult to recognise people from faces, and forget if they have seen a face before. Here is an online test for prosopagnosia. The mean score for non-impaired is 71%; I got 68%. If you get below 47% you may have an issue. This isn't one of the usual idiotic tests I link to - it was designed by a team researching the condition - but of course it is not clinically definitive on its own.

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From:lamentables
Date:June 20th, 2011 06:04 pm (UTC)
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I found it difficult to distinguish between faces familiar from the test and faces familiar because they remind me of actual people. I scored 73%
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From:communicator
Date:June 20th, 2011 06:06 pm (UTC)
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Yes, I had that too. Also they repeated some of the 'decoy' faces, so you could recognise them from previous rounds of the test.

Well - I'm more or less average - now I have to find another reason why I am so forgetful.
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From:communicator
Date:June 20th, 2011 06:22 pm (UTC)
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I think that a test like this will be very much affected by transient conditions, including if you are tired or distracted, or a host of other negative influences, and that result is at the bounds of normal random fluctuation.
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From:woodpijn
Date:June 20th, 2011 06:29 pm (UTC)
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I got 40%. They all look the same! They have no hair! Hair is how I usually recognise people.

Thanks for the link. I've wondered if I had prosopagnosia, but the only tests I've come across before involve recognising celebrities, which I'm rubbish at anyway. Also this test was particularly well-constructed because it rotated the faces, which scuppered my attempts to "recognise" them using properties of the photo as opposed to the face.

(Here via atreic's friends list)
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From:communicator
Date:June 20th, 2011 06:34 pm (UTC)
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Now, that is quite low. That's really interesting. It sounds like you already had a feeling this was an issue for you? If you live in the UK she does do face to face research in Bournemouth, and there's a discussion board.

http://www.prosopagnosiaresearch.org/
From:abigail_n
Date:June 20th, 2011 06:57 pm (UTC)
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I note that all the faces are white, but the test doesn't ask for the respondent's race. There have been studies that have shown that facial recognition skills don't translate across races - not just that white people can't tell black people apart, but vice versa.
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From:pennski
Date:June 20th, 2011 07:00 pm (UTC)
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I also read all the faces as male and "bland". There was one notable chin and one notable pair of eyebrows but that was about it.

I didn't think I'd done particularly well but I got 90% which was weird.
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From:altariel
Date:June 20th, 2011 07:34 pm (UTC)
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I got 68% too. I gave them names as I was going through: one was Bruiser, another was China (Mieville).
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From:pennski
Date:June 20th, 2011 08:07 pm (UTC)
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I spotted him too!
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From:communicator
Date:June 20th, 2011 09:08 pm (UTC)
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atreic (above) thinks maths people might be more prone to face-blindness? I recognise what you say about not deciding you need to remember.
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From:several_bees
Date:June 20th, 2011 10:31 pm (UTC)
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I'm really bad at faces in the wild, but I'm usually only averagely poor at this sort of test (65% in this case, up from 55-60 when I did it a year or two ago), which is annoying - I would love to have a medical justification for being so bad at them.

It is, I guess, an attention thing for me (as for people above), and a way of thinking about things. In the limited test context I can look at all the test faces and label them ("weird dark lower pupils", "sulky murdering toddler") and then pick them out later without too much trouble. But if I just encounter people in the world, then it's much harder to do that - especially if you meet a lot of people, which I feel I tend to (30 or so people in the last week, for example). And if I just leave it to nature, instead of coming up with words and labels, well: my memory is mostly verbal and physical and faces just don't stick. I was fifteen minutes into a ST:TNG episode a few months ago before I realised that Random New Character Who Just Appeared was actually Riker Wearing A Hat.
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From:several_bees
Date:June 20th, 2011 10:32 pm (UTC)
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(Not to imply that I wish I had prosopagnosia - very glad I don't, given how awkward even just being bad at faces can make things - just that since I am bad at faces, it would be nice to be able to go "ah, it is this medical condition with a long name" instead of looking abashed.)
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From:espresso_addict
Date:June 20th, 2011 11:49 pm (UTC)
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I got 53%, but I've known I'm rubbish at recognising faces for years. I tend to go by voice/clothing/hairstyle/context except with people I know well. I think it's exacerbated for me because I'm quite recognisable, so people I've met very slightly often remember me, and I don't recall them in the slightest.
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From:splodgenoodles
Date:June 21st, 2011 02:37 am (UTC)
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45% here.

I am categorically *not* a maths/science type. I'm very visual. And fascinated by faces.


I actually found this reassuring. Not that I *want* to have the problem, just because I get so anxious about recognising/not recognising people that it is strangely reassuring to know it's because I am really bad at it.

That's rather irrational, now that I think about it.


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From:emeraldsedai
Date:June 21st, 2011 03:22 am (UTC)
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I scored 68%, but it was very stressful, and I felt quite confused and vague by the end.

Interesting test, though. I felt that there were only one or two faces that stood out as really distinctive, and those were probably because I could easily pair them with an actual familiar face.
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From:katlinel
Date:June 21st, 2011 07:38 am (UTC)
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58%. All the faces coded as male to me, and I wonder how much that influenced me. I think I spend more time looking at women's faces than men's, probably because my experience has led me to expect less hostility/aggression/predatory behviour from women in public than men which looking at faces might involve. I also felt that the test was partly a rotation test, given the different angles of faces to remember to test faces. I am not bad at rotation tests (did some for friends doing psychology at university) at with geometric shapes, if I'm given time to reflect, but I found it harder in this case to translate how I was labelling the faces by feature to their slightly rotated presentation later.
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From:trixieleitz
Date:June 21st, 2011 10:25 am (UTC)
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I got 43% which surprised me (that it was that low, I mean). I was choosing answers confidently, but, in hindsight, I couldn't be sure if the face was from the learning phase or from earlier in the testing phase.

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