Monthly Archives: April 2018

Does this explain that visual experience?

“OUR sight is sharpest at dawn and dusk – and now we may know why. It is not a result of changes within our eyes, but of how the brain processes visual signals.”

Clare Wilson Our eyesight is sharpest at twilight – and now we may know why. New Scientist. 10 April 2018.

https://www.newscientist.com/article/2165965-our-eyesight-is-sharpest-at-twilight-and-now-we-may-know-why/

This could be the solution to a mystery in sensory psychology that I’ve been wondering about for many years. I noticed a subtle effect in which my sense of sight without warning occassionally seems to improve, but not in any way that is obvious such as sharper focus or altered colour perception, resulting in a somewhat blissful effect that lasts a few seconds. I had noted that it seems to happen around the time of sunset, and I’d theorised that it is something to do with the visual system in my brain being able to readjust to a more optimal or fine-grained level of functioning as the result of a reduced level of light, similar to the effect of one’s eyes taking up to 20 minutes to adjust to the dark when one enters a dark cave during the day.

Part 2 of eyewitness episode on Insight

Part 2, which might include stuff about super-recognition, can only be viewed through an online account.

https://www.sbs.com.au/news/insight/article/2018/04/04/are-you-super-recogniser

 

Teenage super single case study published last year

This study raises questions in my mind about the development of super-recognition. Here’s a case in an adolescent who is nowhere near completing the stages of development of her brain (but does this ever really end?), but she is irrefutably displaying the cognitive talent and characteristics of super-recognizers. How does this information sit with evidence that face recognition is an ability that continues to develop much later than most other cognitive abilities, into the 30s? Will she go on to develop into a super-duper-recognizer as an adult? Has she already reached the peak of her ability and will stay at this level in adulthood? Is the normal trajectory of face memory ability irrelevant to super-recognition?

Rachel J. Bennetts, Joseph Mole & Sarah Bate Super-recognition in development: A case study of an adolescent with extraordinary face recognition skills. Cognitive Neuropsychology. 2017 Sep;34(6):357-376. doi: 10.1080/02643294.2017.1402755. Epub 2017 Nov 22.

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02643294.2017.1402755?journalCode=pcgn20

 

This is curious, considering that Pitt is supposed to be a prosopagnosic

It appears that actor Brad Pitt is dating a professor who is a double for his ex, which seems unlikely to be just a coincidence, but I’m wondering how he’s identified a lady who looks just like his ex when by his own account, he has difficulty with face memory. Could there have even been an episode of mistaken identity?

http://www.news.com.au/entertainment/celebrity-life/is-brad-pitt-dating-angelina-jolie-lookalike-professor-neri-oxman/news-story/48eaa5ceaf07049162f06d3fa387d637

https://edition.cnn.com/2013/05/23/showbiz/celebrity-news-gossip/brad-pitt-esquire-face-blindness/index.html

 

Test and super-recognizer stuff at website of SBS TV show Insight

I’m not 100% sure why these items are at the Insight website as it does not appear that the topic of supers was covered in the last episode, but possibly the theme of crime eyewitnesses will be continued in a second part tomorrow. Might be worth a look at the show and the website too if you’re interested in superrecognition, face memory and forensic eyewitness evidence. I’m glad that Insight are covering the topic of supers in eyewitness testimony to some degree, because it appears that in the US and Australia there has been for quite a few years been a quite strident and ideological movement that has critiqued the value of eyewitness testimony as legal evidence, as an excessive reaction to countless unsound convictions based on misunderstandings, over-confidence and outright abuse of procedures in relation to the use of eyewitness testimony in court cases. These excessive reactions from psychology researchers have simply argued against the value of eyewitness testimony, in ignorance of the fact that there is a large spectrum of ability in face memory, and supers can be valuable in crime investigation and potentially in testimony. If you’ve ever tried to discuss super-recognizers and their value in law enforcement with a member of this “memory is fallible” movement in cognitive psychology, it’s about as pointless as talking to a wall. Activism and science don’t work well together.
https://www.sbs.com.au/news/insight