A CNN news article about Brad Pitt and his suspicions about prosopagnosia came out on Friday. I’ve only just found out about Brad Pitt and face recognition issues. I’m amazed. There is speculation about how he visually recognizes his partner actor Angelina Jolie. Perhaps Mr Pitt just consistently approaches the most beautiful woman in the room. I guess you can do that when you look as gorgeous as Mr Pitt.
Note the photos and notes in the CNN article about many other famous prosopagnosics, including Australia’s beloved Dr Karl and Victoria, Crown Princess of Sweden. A disability in face memory isn’t the only difficulty in life that Crown Princess Victoria has had to contend with. She is also a dyslexic and won a battle against anorexia in the 1990s. According to the CNN article, Brad Pitt has been invited to go to Carnegie Mellon University to see Prof Marlene Behrmann and be tested for face-blindness or prosopagnosia and to have his brain imaged. That’s his decision to make. Prof Behrmann does appear to be an expert in the area of face recognition. I would cite Dr Brad Duchaine as another world-class expert.
I don’t see anything wrong with Prof Behrmann’s offer, but a celebrity shouldn’t feel that he has to make a public show of getting diagnosed with something. I guess Mr Pitt has seen the positive impact that his partner’s recent sharing of medical information has made. Perhaps he feels that he would like to also share and go public about a personal issue, and have a professor check out his lobes and gyri and white matter. Perhaps Mr Pitt feels that his apparent difficulty with face memory has alienated so many people that he must now seek and offer a public explanation of why he hasn’t recognized people. Being diagnosed as a prosopagnosic in a consultation that is reported in press releases would appear to be a solution. Finding out whether or not you are a super-recognizer of faces or a prosopagnosic can also be done privately and at no cost. The short version of the Cambridge Face Memory Test used to be freely available on the internet for anyone to complete in the privacy of their own home, with access to their own score. In my opinion, no one should have to volunteer to have their brain scanned or be studied as a single case or be studied as one of many research subjects just to get access to scientifically sound face memory testing and one’s own test results. I also don’t think anyone should have to pay a consultation fee to see someone with letters after their name just to get access to testing. Good face memory tests can be and have been offered freely over the internet. Governments subsidize public access to important health-related information resources on the internet, and I don’t see why face recognition tests should be any different.
I can’t believe that I’ve just written a post about Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie and a beautiful princess who once had an eating disorder. It just isn’t the kind of thing that I do.
CNN Staff Does Brad Pitt suffer from face blindness? CNN May 24, 2013. http://edition.cnn.com/2013/05/23/showbiz/celebrity-news-gossip/brad-pitt-esquire-face-blindness/index.html
Tom Junod A life so large. Esquire. June/July 2013. http://www.esquire.com/features/brad-pitt-cover-interview-0613
Shilo Rea News Brief: Carnegie Mellon Invites Brad Pitt To Campus For Face Blindness Diagnosis, Research. Carnegie Mellon News. May 23rd 2013. http://www.cmu.edu/news/stories/archives/2013/may/may22_faceblindness.html
Princess Victoria’s face confession. Female First. February 13th 2008. http://www.femalefirst.co.uk/royal_family/Princess+Victoria-48079.html