Remembering faces and names

It’s a fairly common story, you’re introduced to someone and almost immediately forget their name. But you don’t forget the face. In fact you’re not actually forgetting the name, you’re just failing to make the connection between the signifier (the name) and the signified (the face).In fact, the areas for faces and names aren’t even in the same half of the brain. So we really don’t stand a chance.

The reason for this is an evolutionary quirk that means the part of the brain that remembers faces is not the same as the one that remembers the name, so while it feels like you’re making some deep rooted error, it is in fact just the way your brain is put together.

we tend to remember faces, after all our visual centres were developed much earlier than our language centres and recognising freinds and foe meant survival. Labels (descriptors) however form a much smaller part of our later developed language capability and we normally use vocabulary in communicative structures and patterns such as speech. In short its easy to forget a name in isolation.

So next time you meet someone make sure you remember the short comings of your brain’s wiring.