Inability to spot faces may be hereditary

Jul 07, 2006

Researchers have found, in the first study into the subject, that the inability to recognize faces is a common, probably hereditary disorder.

And, it apparently is controlled by a defect in a single gene.

Known officially as prosopagnosia, or face blindness, and can be caused by brain injury, it reflects the inability to differentiate faces except for the most familiar ones, usually family members.

The survey was carried out by a team led by Dr. Ingo Kennerknecht of the University of Muenster in Germany. It showed that of the 689 subjects some 17 cases of the disorder were found and all but three were hereditary.

The study was published online in American Journal of Medical Genetics Part A.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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