Not one but four recently published studies of super-recognition!!!!

And all bar one are open access! Please readers let me know if there are more studies on supers out there.


Bobak A, Parris B, Gregory N, Bennetts R, Bate S (2016) Eye-Movement Strategies in Developmental Prosopagnosia and “Super” Face Recognition. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology. Posted online: 02 Mar 2016. DOI:10.1080/17470218.2016.1161059

The above paper interesting as it apparently supports the idea that developmental prosopagnosia is a heterogeneous condition and at least the most severe cases are not simply the bottom end of a spectrum of ability. The authors do seem to regard supers as the top end of a spectrum though. Researchers also found that supers and able controls spent more time looking at noses, a finding which I think I recall from another study. It makes sense to me as I feel that great face recognition ability is an automatic and involuntary process (like synaesthesia) that involves perception of the face as a whole “landscape”.


Bobak AK, Dowsett AJ, Bate S (2016) Solving the Border Control Problem: Evidence of Enhanced Face Matching in Individuals with Extraordinary Face Recognition Skills. PLoS ONE 11(2): e0148148. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0148148


Bobak AK, Hancock PJB, Bate S. Super-recognisers in Action: Evidence from Face-matching and Face Memory Tasks. Applied Cognitive Psychology. 2016;30:81–91. doi: 10.1002/acp.3170


Robertson DJ, Noyes E, Dowsett AJ, Jenkins R, Burton AM (2016) Face Recognition by Metropolitan Police Super-Recognisers. PLoS ONE 11(2): e0150036. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0150036


Anna Bobak and Dr Sarah Bate have been busy!


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  • Anna  On May 25, 2016 at 9:11 pm

    One more for you!


  • C. Wright  On May 26, 2016 at 12:17 am

    Thanks for keeping me in the loop, Anna. You really are interested in supers, aren’t you? This research report looks very interesting!

    I’ve gone back to uni and I had a few thoughts about my own experiences of face perception while reading a textbook by Jamie Ward. Sadly, I’m snowed-under with study and don’t have time to do my ideas justice in this blog.

    • Anna  On May 26, 2016 at 12:22 am

      I guess I am, the last 4 years of my life were spent on studying them! I’m submitting my PhD next week, viva to come – who knows what’s next.

      That’s always the thing, isn’t it? So many ideas, so little time. I hope you’re keeping well and all the best at university.

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