prosopagnosia illustration

Glen Foy onion7 at
Mon Mar 12 14:02:01 EST 2001

in article 3AAC8BE9.204E0569 at, Michel Kerszberg at
mkersz at wrote on 3/12/01 3:42 AM:

> Hello,
> Some years ago I attended a lecture by the late Justine Sergent on
> prosopagnosia (face blindness). The lecturer flashed two slides at us,
> one displaying about 15 human faces, the other about 15 apes' faces.
> Everyone agreed that the human faces were all different; while the ape
> faces were all similar. On closer inspection of course, the ape faces
> turned out to be just as different as the human faces; the point was
> that someone suffering of prosopagnosia reacts to human faces the way we
> react to the apes'.
> This was so vivid an illustration that I never forgot it. I never saw
> those pictures again, however, or anything like them. Would anyone know
> where I could find such pictures of two sets of faces?
> Thanks!
> Michel 

Hi Michael,

What an interesting subject ...

It occurs to me that you might not need a set of ape faces at all.  This
phenomenon is closely related to the old racial slur, "all orientals look
alike to me," or "all caucasians look alike to me," or "all black people
look alike to me," etc, etc.

Our ability to perceive distinguishing characteristics is apparently a
function of the *value* we place on the people or things involved.

In the South, 30 years ago, all black people did in fact look alike!!  It's
amazing how individualized they have become ...

You might even be able to *quantify* a culture's racism by testing for
perceptual acuity ...



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