This happens to me sometimes. I have a good memory for recognising places/events/people that I've encountered but it's less easy to match them or place in time. This was confirmed by a test I took on facebook, ok just kidding, I meant a short test that came from BBC's Science & Nature section: BBC - Science & Nature - Human Body and Mind - Face Memory Test "The test assesses your ability to remember how long ago something happened - your 'temporal' memory. If you're tired you won't be as good at remembering when you saw or did something." The test is in three parts (with 5 minute break in between): Start here: Part 1 (1 - 2 minutes) Part 2 (1 - 2 minutes) Part 3 (3 - 4 minutes) Feel free to share your test results and how it rates on general observation about yourself. I wonder if the same principle works for names. I'm good with people's faces and remember I know them but I can't find their name in my head. That makes a really awkward social situation especially when you meet them randomly and introductions have to be made.