Could you spot an unfamiliar face in the crowd? For some this is no problem at all as they have an innate ability – super facial recognition skills. Why do some people possess this and how do they scan faces so precisely? This skill is particularly important for the police; Scotland Yard has a Super-Recognizer unit that searches CCTV footage for suspects, terrorists and missing people. Sarah Bate explains the phenomenon and how she is working with the police to identify the ‘super-recognisers’ amongst the force.
The Margaret Mead Award Lecture for social sciences, supported by the Learned Society of Wales, was awarded to Dr Sarah Bate (Bournemouth University) by the British Science Association.