Tag Archives: Face Memory Development

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.



Surprising explanation for why face recognition matures unusually late in human development!

I didn’t expect to be reading this but I can recognize that this discovery seems to explain why face recognition is human cognitive ability that hits its peak surprisingly late in human development, and I’m now wondering how this fits into my theories about the relationship between my super-recognition and my synaesthesia, and that includes wondering how this discovery fits with my immune hypothesis of synaesthesia (which is all about pruning rather than proliferation), and of course I’m wondering how this fits in with what is known about super-recognizers. I guess I should just calm down and read the full text.

Coghlan, Andy Brain’s face recognition area grows much bigger as we get older. New Scientist. January 5th 2017.

Jesse Gomez, Michael A. Barnett, Vaidehi Natu, Aviv Mezer, Nicola Palomero-Gallagher, Kevin S. Weiner, Katrin Amunts, Karl Zilles, Kalanit Grill-Spector Microstructural proliferation in human cortex is coupled with the development of face processing. Science. January 6th 2017.



Damn, it’s behind a paywall

I was wondering whether this interesting-sounding paper might mention face memory ability, because other research has shown that ability in this area peaks much later than many other cognitive abilities, in the third decade of life, as I recall, and no one knows why, and it is one of those fascinating mysteries in psychological science that I love to ponder. It is certainly nice to know that there is even one cognitive ability that peaks as late as the seventh decade of life, considering how long it has been since I saw my 30th birthday. I also noticed that one of the authors of the paper (Laura Germine) is one who has done face memory research in the past, and some of the data used in the study was gathered using a website that has a history of offering free to the internet public access to world-class face memory and face perception tests (testmybrain.org). But the paper is behind a paywall, so I’m left wondering.






Another interesting recent article in a science magazine about face recognition – why does the ability mature so late in life?

It isn’t clear why face recognition ability should mature so much later in life than other abilities. Research published in the journal Cognition by a team that includes Laura Germine of Harvard University and face recognition researchers Ken Nayayama and Bradley Duchaine has been discussed in ScienceNews. One of the tests used in the study is the Cambridge Face Memory Test. The original paper can be viewed in full text, not behind a paywall.

Bower, Bruce Face memory peaks late, after age 30: Finding challenges view that all mental faculties max out in young adulthood. ScienceNews. January 1st 2011. Vol. 179 No. 1 p.16.


Germine, Laura T., Duchaine, Bradley, Nakayama, Ken Where cognitive development and aging meet: Face learning ability peaks after age 30. Cognition, Volume 118, Issue 2, February 2011, Pages 201-210http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0010027710002611