Top Posts & Pages
- Super-recognizer jobs, or why you should be testing prospective employees for visual memory
- Personification of inanimate objects a common factor in classic British comedy TV shows?
- Salvador Dali certainly had a thing about hidden faces
- A link between autism and super-recognizer ability, or am I reading this wrong?
- I've discovered another face memory test
- Woo Hoo! A test specifically for super-recognizers from CBS 60 Minutes
- Short super-recognizer test here!
- Pop singer Alessia Cara describes her synaesthesia experiences on The Project
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Tag Archives: Super-recognition and Employment
Keefe, Patrick Radden The detectives who never forget a face. New Yorker. August 22nd 2016. Print edition title: Total Recall.
I was glad to read in this substantial and interesting article that face identification was not the only evidence used to convict criminals. And the last couple of sentences in this piece are too true!
Montagne, Renee ‘New Yorker’: The Detectives Who Never Forget A Face. NPR. August 17th 2016.
This story with an interview of Australian researcher Dr David White was broadcast last year. I’m not actively trawling for items about super-recognition to post about here, so I only just came across it by chance.
Readers of this blog might be interested in the download linked to from the RN web page for the story, which is a difficult face matching test. I’ll give you a tip and advise to only look at the faces as you go and record your own answers as you go, and check them later. I got only five out of eight correct.
Mackenzie, Michael The secret powers of the super-recognisers. RN Afternoons. September 2nd 2015.
Robertson, David James (2016) Could super recognisers be the latest weapon in the war on terror? The Conversation. March 25th 2016.
And don’t forget to check out the comments, one identifying a super-recognizer character in detective story literature.
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!
Superior visual recognition ability plus plant knowledge gives instant alert to story that doesn’t add up
Within just a few seconds of looking at a photo in this Western Australian news story I knew something wasn’t right about the story, thanks to my great ability to identify plants by sight, which is I believe associated with my “super-recognizer” level of ability in face recognition and face memory.
Young, Emma Perth couple’s garden dream crushed for last time with Wembley verge demolition. WA Today. February 13th 2016.
Within the first sentence of the story the garden at the centre of the story is identified as an “eco-friendly garden” but at a glance I identified the two ground-cover plants in the first two photos as environmental weeds of South African origin, Osteospermum ecklonis and Carpobrotus edulis. There is nothing “eco-friendly” about a garden in which environmental weeds are planted and nurtured! The more I and others have looked into the story, the more things we have discovered that don’t add up. Beware!
This is just another hint at why employers, especially those in government, security and law enforcement, need to be considering visual recognition ability as well as face memory ability while recruiting and deploying employees, to the point of testing this ability. Visual recognition ability is vitally important in more ways than we can predict.
Passport Problem. Catalyst. ABC. February 24th 2015. http://www.abc.net.au/catalyst/stories/4185916.htm
Why are the science journalists at the Catalyst team trying to distance this story from the existing body of research and writing on the same subject as the story, by using a new term for people with tested elite ability in face recognition? As far as I can tell, the skill is the pretty-much same as the skill measured by the CFMT, which I believe is recognized by researchers around the world as a gold-standard test of face memory or face recognition.
Story about Oxford Uni researcher developing computer facial recognition of rare diseases on ABC radio
I just discovered this story from the Science Show on ABC Radio National from earlier this month about researcher Christoffer Nellåker. It sounds a lot to me like the kind of research that researchers in Perth, Western Australia have been busy with in the Perth Face-Space Project.
I’ve written it before and I’ll write it again; I’m bemused that so much effort and research is continuing to be put into very sophisticated efforts to create systems for recognizing genetic disorders and diseases in facial appearances, involving sophisticated computer algorithms and photography, to do a job that any super-recognizer could be trained to do with I expect little time and effort. In fact I expect that super-recognizers and people with average levels of face recognition ability naturally have unconsciously-used skills at detecting facial dysmorphology. Who couldn’t pick a case of Down’s syndrome in a crowd, regardless of age or gender? And Treacher Collins is hard to miss, and easy enough to name once you know what it is. I get the point that some of the diseases that can be detected in the face are exceedingly rare, and therefore even a medical specialist would have little or nothing in the way of familiarity with the typical appearance linked to the disease, but I would think it is also true that for any medical case a short-list of diseases will be identified during the diagnostic process, and for each of those diseases, regardless of rarity, there should be some kind of photographic record that can be accessed and studied, and compared against the appearance of the patient. Whichever way you look at it, this job needn’t be rocket science, but as is so often the case, people feel more comfortable in placing their faith in the performance computer system than the skill of a person.
Williams, Robyn Identifying rare diseases from facial images. Science Show. Radio National ABC. December 6th 2014. http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/scienceshow/identifying-rare-diseases-from-facial-images/5947924
Saw, Samantha Defining normal. InkWire. April 17, 2014. http://inkwirenews.com.au/2014/04/17/defining-normal/