Brad Pitt, an Oscar winner, claims to suffer from a rare condition that makes it difficult for him to recognize people’s faces. Pitt hinted in a recent GQ interview that he may have prosopagnosia, a neurological disorder that makes it difficult to recognize people’s faces. “Nobody believes me!” exclaimed Pitt, 58, who has yet to receive an official diagnosis. “I’d like to meet another [person with it].” Pitt explained that his illness causes him to spend so much time at home.
People suffering from the disorder may have difficulty distinguishing between members of their own family or identifying themselves in images. They also have difficulty recognizing people when they are not in their usual surroundings, such as when they run into a coworker at the grocery store. Dr. James Galvin, director of the University of Miami’s Comprehensive Center for Brain Health, estimates that the illness affects about 2.5% of infants and young children.
According to Galvin’s comments in a university news release, degenerative forms of prosopagnosia have been linked to illnesses such as Alzheimer’s. Damage to the fusiform gyrus, a critical brain region for higher-level visual interpretation such as face and object identification, can occur during pregnancy or shortly after birth, resulting in this disorder.
Brain damage and disease are common causes of the disorder, which is usually caused by dysfunction in the brain’s right temporal or occipital lobes, which are in charge of important cognitive functions like memory and visual perception. Children with prosopagnosia may struggle to keep up with the action in movies and TV shows because they have difficulty distinguishing between actors.
Cartoons, on the other hand, are more appealing to them because the characters are depicted in the same simple style across episodes. There is no known cure or treatment for the illness. As a result, according to Galvin, society has adapted by learning to identify individuals based on other characteristics such as clothing, voice, body type, hairstyle, and even skin color and tone. Clinical trials are currently underway to see if computer-assisted learning can improve facial recognition accuracy.