July 31, 2010
Radiolab: Strangers in the Mirror
Another excellent short episode of Radiolab, featuring a conversation with two people I wouldn’t expect to hear on stage together:
Oliver Sacks, the famous neuroscientist and author, can’t recognize faces. Neither can Chuck Close, the great artist known for his enormous paintings of … that’s right, faces.
Oliver and Chuck–both born with the condition known as Face Blindness–have spent their lives decoding who is saying hello to them. You can sit down with either man, talk to him for an hour, and if he sees you again just fifteen minutes later, he will have no idea who you are. (Unless you have a very squeaky voice or happen to be wearing the same odd purple hat.)
If you’re interested in the science of face perception, I stumbled across this relevant paper this week: Cortical Specialization for Face Perception in Humans (pdf) co-authored by Tel Aviv University’s Galit Yovel.
Go check it out →