What Is Prosopagnosia?

Many of us have trouble recalling names. Others can’t seem to remember a face. The latter condition is called prosopagnosia, or face blindness. And actor Brad Pitt just may be the most famous person to speak about it publicly.

The “Deadpool 2” actor hasn’t actually been diagnosed with face blindness, although he does have plans to be tested for it. For the time being, his is a self-diagnosis revealed in an “Esquire” interview that set tongues wagging. Pitt discussed the social problems caused by his condition, as well as the fact that it’s caused him to spend a lot of time at home with his kids — something he definitely doesn’t mind.

Countless acquaintances have struck up conversations with the actor, only to realize that he doesn’t recognize them. While it embarrasses Pitt, his inability to remember people he’s met tends to offend them. Some mistake the celebrity’s condition for arrogance, especially when he asks where he met the owner of the forgotten face.

While it isn’t even certain that Brad Pitt has prosopagnosia, the “Esquire” interview and the publicity surrounding it have shed some light on the relatively obscure condition. Its effects vary widely; some can’t identify acquaintances, others don’t know the faces of people they see often, and others still aren’t even able to recognize themselves in the mirror. Few sufferers have the disadvantage of having their faces known by so many people, yet the problem is just as real for those without movie credits to their names.