Types of Prosopagnosia

It is currently agreed that there are two main types of prosopagnosia (or face blindness) – Acquired and Developmental. .

Acquired Prosopagnosia

Acquired prosopagnosia refers to instances where face blindness is the result of a brain injury or tauma, such as stroke, head injury or encephalitis.  This form of face blindness has been recognised for a number of decades and information and support may be accessed via UK charities set up to work with individuals living with the aftermath of these specific conditions.

Encephalitis Society


The Encephalitis Society runs a Link Up scheme, putting people with similar experience in touch so they can get mutual support and share coping strategies.

Headway – the Brain Injury Association


Factsheet:  Prosopagnosia – face blindness after brain injury

Stroke Association


Factsheet:  Memory, thinking and understanding after a Stroke

Developmental Prosopagnosia

Developmental Prosopagnosia is a neurodevelopmental disorder and type of specific learning difficulty that affects the ability to recognise the faces of familiar people.  The condition is present from birth, and appears to run in families, which means it likely to have some genetic component.  It is now estimated that around 2% of the population may have some degree of prosopagnosia.

Some degree of prosopagnosia is often present in children with autism and Asperger’s syndrome, however developmental prosopagnosia is primarily seen as a distinct condition.