Developmental Prosopagnosia

Developmental prosopagnosia (commonly referred to as ‘face blindness’) is characterized by severe face recognition difficulties due to the failure to develop the necessary mechanisms for face perception. The disorder affects individuals’ abilities to recognize even the most familiar faces, from parents and siblings, to their own face in photographs! Developmental prosopagnosia is estimated to affect about 2% of the population.

In conjunction with the already substantial amount of research on adults with face blindness, the Yonas lab has begun to work on understanding how the ability to recognize faces develops and changes throughout childhood. For children with prosopagnosia who have not yet developed mechanisms to cope with their deficits in face recognition, the disorder can be an obstacle in making and maintaining friendships, or finding teachers and classmates at school.

Our goals are to develop diagnostic tools for children with face blindness, to study the development of normal and abnormal face recognition, and ultimately to develop treatment strategies for children who have difficulties recognizing faces. We are currently collecting data from typically developing children to evaluate normal performance levels on these tasks. We are seeking kids between the ages of 7-12 participate in this research study. If your child is interested in participating, please contact us for more information:

We also completed a large questionnaire where we asked parents about their experiences related to raising a child with prosopagnosia. They agreed to let us share their responses, which can be found on our summary of Project ProsoFamily.

Sign up here for email updates regarding research on face blindness in children.

If you suspect that your child may suffer from face blindness, please contact us at

Yonas Visual Perception Lab
Phone: 612-626-4344

Further Reading

Want to know more? Check out these websites.

Madi’s Story

60 Minutes Part 1

60 Minutes Part 2