Dr Sarah Bate explains face blindness in The Sun

After Brad Pitt admitted he suffered from prosopagnosia – more commonly known as face blindness – the Sun featured the stories of two other people with the condition in its health pages.

They also called on BU’s Dr Sarah Bate, a Senior Lecturer in Psychology who specialises in face recognition, to explain the condition.

People with extreme forms of face blindness struggle to recognise their family, friends, and even their own reflections in the mirror.

Sarah, who has set up an e-petition to get the government to formally recognise prosopagnosia, said in the article: “While some sufferers find prosopagnosia can lead to occasional embarrassment, for others it affects their social aptitude and employment opportunities.

“They might withdraw from social events and choose to work in jobs that avoid the need for face-to-face interaction with colleagues. This can cause anxiety and depression.”

But, she said, some people cope remarkably well with the condition and develop strategies like focusing on non-facial clues – like hairstyles, gait or clothing – to recognise people.

She added: “These strategies might work some of the time but there are always occasions where a familiar person is met out of context and the strategy breaks down.”

Find out more about prosopagnosia and the work taking place at BU