Brad Pitt, an Oscar winner, claims he has an uncommon condition that makes it difficult for him to identify people’s faces.
Pitt suggested in a recent interview with GQ that he may suffer from prosopagnosia, a neurological disorder that makes it difficult to recognize people’s faces.
“Nobody believes me!” said Pitt, 58, who has not been officially diagnosed. “I wanna meet another [person with it].”
Pitt explained that he spends so much time at home due to his illness.
People with the disorder may have trouble differentiating among members of their own family or identifying themselves in images. They also have trouble recognizing people when they are out of their usual environments, such as if they were to run into a coworker at the grocery store.
Dr. James Galvin, director of the Comprehensive Center for Brain Health at the University of Miami, estimates that the illness affects about 2.5% of infants and young children.
Degenerative forms of prosopagnosia have been linked to illnesses like Alzheimer’s, according to Galvin’s comments in a university news release.
Damage to the fusiform gyrus, an important brain region for higher-level visual interpretation including face and object identification, can occur during pregnancy or shortly after delivery, leading to this disorder.
Brain damage and disease are common causes of the disorder, and in most cases, it is the result of dysfunction in the brain’s right temporal or occipital lobes, which are responsible for important cognitive functions like memory and visual perception.
Because they have trouble distinguishing between actors, kids with prosopagnosia may have trouble keeping up with the action in movies and TV shows. Cartoons, on the other hand, are more accessible to them since the characters are consistently depicted in the same simple style between episodes.
The illness has no known cure or treatment. As a result, Galvin argues, society has adapted by learning to identify individuals based on other characteristics, such as their clothing, voice, body type, hairstyle, and even their skin color and tone. Computer-assisted learning is currently being tested in clinical studies to see if it might improve facial recognition accuracy.