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Individual Differences in Face Perception and Person Recognition

This thematic series, published in Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications (CR:PI), focuses on face perception and person recognition.

The field has developed rapidly over the past 40 years, and we now have advanced understanding of how human brains process human faces, and the relationships between face processing and the perception of other aspects of the person such as voices and bodies. Despite this increase in knowledge, problems of misidentification continue to arise in criminal and security contexts, and many wider social activities rely on accurate reading of faces from subtle social signals.

This series seeks to highlight research articles that investigate the nature of individual differences in face perception and/or person recognition, and which consider theoretical alongside applied implications of their findings.

Edited by:

  • Professor Vicki Bruce, Newcastle University 
  • Dr Karen Lander, University of Manchester 
  • Dr Markus Bindemann, University of Kent 

This collection of articles has not been sponsored and articles have undergone the journal’s standard peer-review process. The Guest Editors declare no competing interests.

  1. Content type: Original article

    Theories of face recognition in cognitive psychology stipulate that the hallmark of accurate identification is the ability to recognize a person consistently, across different encounters. In this study, we app...

    Authors: Andrew J. Russ, Melanie Sauerland, Charlotte E. Lee and Markus Bindemann

    Citation: Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications 2018 3:30

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  2. Content type: Original article

    Our reliance on face photos for identity verification is at odds with extensive research which shows that matching pairs of unfamiliar faces is highly prone to error. This process can therefore be exploited by...

    Authors: David J. Robertson, Andrew Mungall, Derrick G. Watson, Kimberley A. Wade, Sophie J. Nightingale and Stephen Butler

    Citation: Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications 2018 3:27

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  3. Content type: Review article

    This journal is dedicated to “use-inspired basic research” where a problem in the world shapes the hypotheses for study in the laboratory. This review considers the role of individual variation in face identif...

    Authors: Karen Lander, Vicki Bruce and Markus Bindemann

    Citation: Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications 2018 3:26

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  4. Content type: Original article

    People vary in their ability to identify faces, and this variability is relatively stable across repeated testing. This suggests that recruiting high performers can improve identity verification accuracy in ap...

    Authors: Tarryn Balsdon, Stephanie Summersby, Richard I. Kemp and David White

    Citation: Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications 2018 3:25

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  5. Content type: Original article

    Hyper-realistic masks present a new challenge to security and crime prevention. We have recently shown that people’s ability to differentiate these masks from real faces is extremely limited. Here we consider ...

    Authors: Jet G. Sanders and Rob Jenkins

    Citation: Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications 2018 3:24

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  6. Content type: Original article

    There are large individual differences in people’s face recognition ability. These individual differences provide an opportunity to recruit the best face-recognisers into jobs that require accurate person iden...

    Authors: Eilidh Noyes, Matthew Q. Hill and Alice J. O’Toole

    Citation: Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications 2018 3:23

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  7. Content type: Original article

    In recent years there has been growing interest in the identification of people with superior face recognition skills, for both theoretical and applied investigations. These individuals have mostly been identi...

    Authors: Sarah Bate, Charlie Frowd, Rachel Bennetts, Nabil Hasshim, Ebony Murray, Anna K. Bobak, Harriet Wills and Sarah Richards

    Citation: Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications 2018 3:22

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  8. Content type: Original article

    We investigated the relationships between individual differences in different aspects of face-identity processing, using the Glasgow Face Matching Test (GFMT) as a measure of unfamiliar face perception, the Ca...

    Authors: Jennifer M. McCaffery, David J. Robertson, Andrew W. Young and A. Mike Burton

    Citation: Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications 2018 3:21

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