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Woman Unable To Recognize Voices, Unless It's Sean Connery 68

A 60-year-old British woman is suffering from a neurological defect that is sure to put her in the next version of "The Man who Mistook His Wife for a Hat." She is unable to recognize any voice she hears — any voice, that is, but Sean Connery's. Unless she sees the face of the person speaking, she has no idea who is talking to her, even her daughter and co-worker's voices are unrecognizable. Dr. Brad Duchaine at University College London, thinks she might have the first documented case of vocal prosopagnosia, a condition which makes it extremely difficult for people to recognize faces. "His accent is distinctive," Duchaine explained. "And she is a British woman in her sixties ... let's say it's probable he got her attention."


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Woman Unable To Recognize Voices, Unless It's Sean Connery

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  • Could this be related to Freemanic Paracusia []?
    • This is a documented but rare symptom of conjoined twin myselxia.

      There are some documentary snippets on YouTube for those interested in further research.

  • by eviloverlordx ( 99809 ) on Thursday November 20, 2008 @05:41PM (#25838081)

    Ish that you?

  • Slashdot confused? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gblackwo ( 1087063 ) on Thursday November 20, 2008 @05:43PM (#25838113) Homepage
    As funny as this may sound in the headline, it does appear to potentially be a legitimate and interesting medical condition. Why was this posted in Idle? We see crap every day that should have been put in Idle, but i'm not sure if this is the case.
    • by Yvan256 ( 722131 )

      It's because samzenpus suffers from a condition known as cowboynealosia, which causes him to think everything that doesn't come directly from Cowboy Neal himself should go into idle.

    • Why not? Apparently, HIS word is HER bond... LOL!

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      First everyone complained that all the content in idle is stupid and useless, and when there actually is some interesting content, everyone complains that there shouldn't be interesting content in idle. So no matter what slashdot does with idle, it's always wrong?

  • The day is mine!

  • So.. (Score:2, Funny)

    by UncleWilly ( 1128141 ) *
    So, how is retirement, Lois? []
    • If you'd read the article you linked to, you'd know that Lois passed away in 2007, you insensitive clod. ;)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 20, 2008 @05:54PM (#25838277)
    Saw the headline and was reminded of Prosopagnosia [] (face blindness). People who have this are completely unable to recognize faces or distinguish between different faces. All they see is a collection of face parts, never the whole pattern. Totally fascinating. Apparently they have to rely on other clues to identify other people, like hairstyles, clothing, and ... voices. Crazy stuff.
    • by tsa ( 15680 )

      Although I don't see pieces of faces, I also often have trouble recognizing people. And don't get me started about remembering names! I guess every nerd has that problem in a big or small way. My roommate, who could program Linux kernel stuff, was a lot worse than me, but he was a lot more a real nerd than me, too.

      • There are two different types of prosopagnosia: apperceptive prosopagnosia, which is what the OP was describing, and associational prosopagnosia, which is more like not being able to use faces to query one's memory. I have the latter, and if I'm looking at a face I can parse it and work out age, gender, etc., which someone with apperceptive prosopagnosia typically can't do, but I can't make any associations with faces as such at all. I have to explicitly observe and notice features and make associations with those to recognize people. I usually end up going on hairstyles, with a somewhat limited success rate.

        I'm pretty bad with voices too, although not as bad as I am with faces or as bad as the woman in the article. For what it's worth, I just had my first bug-fix (a race condition in arch/sparc64/kernel/trampoline.S) accepted into the kernel source a few weeks ago, so I guess I fit your definition of a Real Nerd.

        • by tsa ( 15680 )

          I looked around on your homepage a bit, and yep, you're definitely a Real Nerd in my book.

        • I have a version of the Cyclades PC-300 T1 card driver patched to run on sparc64 kernels.

          This alone is sufficient credentials for Real Nerd status.
          • Pleasant face even through the lens of a web-cam. Check
          • Linux advocate. Check
          • Demonstrated understanding of UNIX kernel. Check
          • Demonstrated mastery of compiled languages. Check
          • Ivy league education. Check
          • In mid '20s. Check
          • Employment history of prominent software companies. Check
          • Neurological condition that may level the playing field for some of the guys who are "aesthetically challenged". Check

          Don't be surprised when marriage proposals from fellow /.ers start show up in your email by the truckload.

          • by ozphx ( 1061292 )

            * Skimmed someones resume because they are female and put a picture online.


            • Skimmed someones resume because they are female and put a picture online.

              How did you know I got that from the resume? I think you fail worse.

              • by ozphx ( 1061292 )

                Clicked homepage to see what you were kicking up a big fuss over. Couple of lines of text, link to resume and a pic. Moved on.

                Unless you are getting into some really serious stalking, I'm assuming you pored thru her resume to get all the extra info.

          • Meh. That's only actually happened to me once, and the person in question was (probably) joking. Anyway, to extend your list:

            • Lesbian. Check
            • Has the exact same geek girl fetish most of the men here have, but would never *admit* to having looked at someone's homepage link for that reason. Check
            • Involved with someone (who fits most of your list too). Check
            • Writes code with above-referenced someone. Check
            • Sometimes gets drawn into Linux vs. OpenBSD arguments with said someone. Check
            • Really enjoys doing this to Slashdotters. Check
            • by euxneks ( 516538 )
              Are those further list elements supposed to make you less appealing to slashdotters? Because I doubt the that's worked.
            • by Chrisje ( 471362 )

              Ony question I have is why you'd be inclined towards considering finding that xkcd cartoon offensive? Nothing wrong with Big Numbers (TM)

              I do take offense at the gist of this thread though.

              - Not all people who read /. have issues procuring geek- or other girls for sexual activity

              - Not all people on /. would argue a somewhat pleasant face is enough to do marriage proposals

              - Not all people on /. would even marry, because it's a religious institute which assumes some kind of mutual ownership. Who owns humans a

        • I sometimes wonder if I have a form of prosopagnosia. I can't remember, based on face alone, who someone is unless I worked with that person closely for some time. There are people I've known at work for years (but haven't seen on a regular basis) and if I see them, I can't remember their name based on their face. When I met my wife online, we went through a long distance relationship phase. I was deathly afraid that she would arrive at the airport and I wouldn't recognize her face. Even my own cousins

  • by Sponge Bath ( 413667 ) on Thursday November 20, 2008 @05:55PM (#25838301)

    I think we have all seen enough of Sarah Palin.

  • Beah carefulsh whatsh joo shhhhhoot at... mossshht thengs hehahr don't shhhReact well toh bulletsh...

  • by MetaPhyzx ( 212830 ) * on Thursday November 20, 2008 @06:23PM (#25838681)

    Nuff said.

  • I did *not* need to see that photo...

    [gouging eyes with stapler]

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I'm ashamed to admit that I recognize that pic as being from Zardoz. :(

    • by RichiH ( 749257 )
      That's OK. I was about to ask what movie that pic was from.
    • Zardoz is an amazing movie, and we should look down upon those who have not seen it.

    • by Ubahs ( 1350461 )
      Don't be ashamed, that was an amazing movie. Man, I miss the 70's science fiction movies. They made valid points, without having to make any sense.
  • Sean Connery only recognizes YOUR voice!

    Oh, and something about Natalie Portman

  • by Fieryphoenix ( 1161565 ) on Thursday November 20, 2008 @09:58PM (#25840945)
    Researcher: And who is speaking now?
    George W. Bush declares the Axis of Evil
    Patient: Sean Connery!
    Researcher: And who is speaking now?
    Tiny Tim sings Tiptoe through the Tulips
    Patient: Sean Connery!
    Researcher: And who is speaking now?
    Miss Piggy takes Kermit to task
    Patient: Sean Connery!
    Researcher: And who is speaking now?
    Roaring Elephants and Chimpanzees howling
    Patient: Sean Connery!
    Researcher: And who is speaking now?
    Sean Connery declares "There can be only one"
    Patient: Sean Connery!
    Researcher: Amazing! She can only recognize a voice if it is Sean Connery!
  • Someone needs to hook her up with []
  • There was a story ten or fifteen years ago about a lady who had epileptic seizures when Entertainment Tonight came on. Eventually they pinned the actual trigger on the voice of Mary Hart.

    It made perfect sense to me. I'm sure we've all had seizures caused by Entertainment Tonight coming on TV.

    Anyway they made hostile jokes about this woman on that show; to her credit Mary Hart wanted to call the woman to apologize.

Kill Ugly Processor Architectures - Karl Lehenbauer