Strangers in the Mirror

What’s it like to face a faceless world? Acclaimed neurologist Oliver Sacks once apologized for almost bumping into a large bearded man, only to realize he was speaking to a mirror. Sacks and photo-realist painter Chuck Close—geniuses from opposite ends of the creative spectrum—share their experiences of living with a curious condition known as “face blindness,” or prosopagnosia. With RadioLab’s Robert Krulwich, they discuss the challenges of maintaining interpersonal relationships—when even family and close friends appear as strangers.

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Original Program Date: June 4, 2010
MODERATOR: Robert Krulwich
PARTICIPANTS: Chuck Close, Alexandra Lynch, Oliver Sacks

Robert Krulwich’s introduction 00:00

Participants introductions 05:00

When did you discover you had prosopagnosia? 07:30

Chuck’s work and working with face blindness. 11:28

Is it just faces or does it include places? 15:15

Prepping for a test with a bathtub? 20:00

Identifying people with no faces 28:56

Oliver on going from 3D to a 2D world. 34:12

What percent of the population has prosopagnosia? 44:40

Recognizing people by just their facial features. 51:35

Special Guest:Alexandra Lynch Introduction 57:24

Can you recognize people by just their voice? 1:09:00

How many faces can our brains keep track of? 01:10:35

Are there certain conditions that are co-morbid? 01:13:23

Alexandra has your ability helped in your career. 01:14:18

If you have face blindness could an app/tech help you out. 01:16:27
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