Tag Archives: New Yorker

Recent articles about supers, prosopagnosia, policing and face recognition research

Keefe, Patrick Radden The detectives who never forget a face. New Yorker. August 22nd 2016. Print edition title: Total Recall.

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/08/22/londons-super-recognizer-police-force

I was glad to read in this substantial and interesting article that face identification was not the only evidence used to convict criminals. And the last couple of sentences in this piece are too true!

 

Montagne, Renee ‘New Yorker’: The Detectives Who Never Forget A Face. NPR. August 17th 2016.

http://www.npr.org/2016/08/17/490314062/new-yorker-the-detectives-who-never-forget-a-face

 

I’ve been reading Oliver Sacks’ new book The Mind’s Eye

After I read much of Oliver Sacks’ previous book about the mind and music Musicophilia, which has within it a very good chapter about synaesthesia, I expected that Sacks’ newest book would certainly be worth a look. The Mind’s Eye is about the processing of vision in the brain and visual disorders/disabilities, so it is exactly the right Oliver Sacks book for the moment for me, as I have recently stumbled into a keen interest in matters of the brain and visual images. For a period of over a year I have been experiencing a strange visual/memory phenomenon, which I have named “the strange phenomenon”, and although I have consulted academics, university researchers and experts from all around the world for an opinion on this (without divulging the identities of the people whose faces are involved with the strange phenomenon), as is often the case, I have been left to figure it out myself, which hasn’t been all that bad because this has been a very interesting period of discovery and I’ve always had a keen interest in the life sciences.

The Mind’s Eye is a book that has lived up to my expectations. It has a chapter about a case of Benson’s syndrome (Sacks favours the alternative term for it “posterior cortical atrophy” or PCA). As I have already explained in this blog, in my family there seems to be a gene that gives people a profile of superior abilities that could be described as the opposite of Benson’s syndrome. Benson’s syndrome is degenerative disease that can have as its first symptom the loss of the ability to read.

The book also has a chapter about prosopagnosia (face-blindness) which is an extended version of the interesting magazine article “Face-Blind” that Sacks wrote for New Yorker magazine on this subject. Sacks described his own quite severe inherited developmental prosopagnosia which is accompanied with agnosia for scenes (Sacks favours the alternative term for this “topographical agnosia”). This chapter also mentions super-recognizers. I was quite struck by descriptions in this book of the many ways in which people, including psychiatrists, have misunderstood and misinterpreted the effects of prosopagnosia. Sacks exposes an unpardonable level of ignorance of this disability among medical professionals.

I’ve enjoyed this book, and I’d recommend it to others.

Radio Shows / Audio About Face Recognition

Eskin, Blake (2010) You look unfamiliar. New Yorker. August 23, 2010.

http://www.newyorker.com/online/2010/08/30/100830on_audio_sacks

[interview with Oliver Sacks]

Hammond, Claudia (2009?) The ‘super-recognisers’ who never, ever, forget a face. Health Check. BBC News. 27/2/2009?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/8665805.stm

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p002t9pl

Gross, Terri (2010) Oliver Sacks: A Neurologist Examines ‘The Mind’s Eye’. Fresh Air. NPR. October 26th 2010.  http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=130732146

Transcript:

http://www.npr.org/templates/transcript/transcript.php?storyId=130732146

Raz, Guy (2010) (2010) Living With Face Blindness: Who Are You, Again? All Things Considered. NPR. November 13th 2010.

http://www.npr.org/2010/11/12/131267727/living-with-face-blindness-who-are-you-again

Transcript:

http://www.npr.org/templates/transcript/transcript.php?storyId=131267727

[interview with Heather Sellers, author of memoir You Don’t Look Like Anyone I Know: A True Story of Family, Face Blindness, and Forgiveness]