Do People Remember Their Classmates?

Most people remember their classmates – research studies have found that 90% of people are able to recall the faces of their high school classmates, even 35 years after their last contact.

Scientists believe that the brain may have a designated mechanism in place to recognize faces, which is thought to serve an evolutionary purpose, as viewing a person’s face can quickly provide insight into his or her age, gender, health, and attractiveness for fertility purposes. While recognizing faces is an ability shared by most neurologically healthy humans, culture may play a role in the exact process – for example, Chinese are more likely to focus on noses, while Westerners tend to examine the eyes and then the mouth.

More about facial recognition :

  • It is estimated that the average person can remember 10,000 different faces.
  • Prosopagnosia is a neurological disorder in which a person is unable to differentiate individual faces; about half of instances consist of cases where people cannot analyze faces at all, while the other half can see faces but not recall who they belong to.
  • The process of seeing and identifying another person’s face takes approximately 600 milliseconds.

Discussion Comments


This is interesting,to find that we have a great visual memory.


Is this post saying that we remember that we know a face from our past and/or is it saying we can put a nae on the face? I believe I would fall in the 10% who do not remember their classmates, if I had to name them.


This is interesting. We just had our 50th reunion and 35 of 63 classmates were there. I immediately knew 33 out of 35. I impressed myself. Some I had not seen in 50 years.

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