Some Interesting facts that you may be interested to know about facial recognition and people with a diagnosis of Dementia. It is very important not only for people who suffer from the disease but also for their relatives and people around them.
If you have a relative who Is diagnosed with Dementia, you may want to know a couple of interesting facts about facial recognition, and how does that relate to people living with Dementia, how is their brain functioning within the process of the facial recognition of their loved ones or any other person that they know from the past.
Scientists have suggested that facial recognition is a complex process. With face perception, we are able to recognize people’s faces, age and gender. Our brain is able to identify objects within seconds, the brain is also constantly making predictions about different kinds of items, when we make a new observation, then the brain is comparing it with the new information that it receives.
So, what do we know about Face perception? Which is also known as “holistic perception,” What is really going on in our brain when we see a face? There are actually three stages that our brain goes through, before it recognizes a face. The first stage is assembled on coding of the physical characteristics of the person, we are observing. The second stage is based on encoding the identity of the person; the brain immediately gives us a sign that we know that person. Then, on the third and last stage, we recognize the person.
“Researchers have also discovered that the certain parts of the brain are activated during those three phases of facial recognition. “ (Viatcheslav Wlassoff, PhD , 2015). If our brain is damaged from a trauma or any kind of disease, and one of these 3 areas do not function, a person will not be able to recognize faces.
‘Fusiform gyrus’, is the tissue area in our brain that becomes activated when we try to recognize an object, it becomes even more active when we try to recognize faces. If that tissues in our brain is damaged, for example people who are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s then they are more likely to not be able to identify the faces they once knew.
Researchers have found out that even people with early stage Alzheimer’s have difficulty recognizing faces. It is important to mention, that the reason people who suffer from dementia and are not always able to recognize faces, is connected to the damage of the brain’s tissue so called ‘Fusiform gyrus’.
It is no surprise that sometimes people tend to think that Dementia is all about memory loss, and that the older we get the more we start to forget things, perhaps lack of awareness leads people to that conclusion. Many people do not know much about Dementia, and that Alzheimer’s has different stages, in the beginning the disease is not very visible and people do not lose their memory completely and immediately, as Kate Swaffer says in her article “Some people say, if you happen to remember something during a conversation, “see, you don’t have dementia after all!” This is also another reason why we need to get rid of the myths of dementia, and the constant impression that is all about memory loss.” In fact not only that this is not true, but also there are many elderly people who are in their 80’s or 90’s and their memory is much sharper than other people, they do not forget as fast as people who suffer from the disease do. Facial recognition has to do more with brain damage caused by a disease like Dementia or a stroke, than age.