Presidential candidate John Hickenlooper can’t remember people by their appearance. How he copes with ‘face blindness’

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Deux hommes en pied by Edgar Degas. Image credit: Renaud Camus/flickr

John Hickenlooper knows he knows you from somewhere. The former Colorado governor now running for president just doesn’t know if it’s really you.

Such is the life of a politician who suffers from prosopagnosia, or face blindness, a medical condition that makes it difficult — and often impossible — to recognize or remember people’s faces, even if someone with the ailment has met them a handful of times.

[Professor Brad] Duchaine said face blindness comes in a variety of different forms and impacts between 1 to 2% of the population. Some people struggle with processing faces and others struggle to access faces that they have processed. A number of people come up with strategies to cope with the issue, Duchaine added, but a common reaction to the medical condition is friendliness.

Related article:  Scientists find ‘glimmer of hope’ in early HIV vaccine trial

It’s difficult to tell Hickenlooper is face blind at events in Iowa. He seems to engage with everyone warmly and it is apparent that he has compensated for the ailment by engaging everyone as a friend.

In the end, Hickenlooper said, he believes face blindness could actually make him a better politician and person, even if it is difficult at times to manage.

Read full, original post: John Hickenlooper didn’t mean to forget who you are: How face blindness has affected his political career

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