Overview: Super recognizers focus less on the eye area than normal viewers, evenly distributing gaze and extracting more information from other facial features.

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A super-perceiving person never forgets a face. They can catch a glimpse of their childhood friend in the rear-view mirror and instantly know it’s them. They also make excellent private detectives and informal investigators.

However, their superpowers, while fascinating, are still poorly understood. Until now, scientists believed that super-recognition devices are very good for faces because they process faces holistically by taking snapshots of them and memorizing them.

In a paper published in the journal on August 31, psychologyPsychologists at UNSW Sydney and the University of Wollongong (UOW) challenge this view and say that super-perceiving people, who make up about 2% of society, see faces the same way we do, and can see faces more quickly and accurately. have proven to see

how does this happen?

UNSW researcher and lead author of the study, Dr. James Dunn, explains that when a superrecognizer gets a glimpse of a new face, it splits it into parts and stores these in the brain as a composite image.

“They can recognize faces better than others even when they can only see a small area at a time. It suggests that we can put together a general impression,” says Dunn.

For the purposes of this study, co-author Dr. Sebastien Mielet, a researcher in the Department of Psychology at UOW and an expert in active vision, used eye-tracking technology to help super-recognizers scan faces and their parts. We analyzed how to handle

This shows the outline of the head
Until now, scientists believed that super-recognition devices are very good for faces because they process faces holistically by taking snapshots of them and memorizing them.Image is in public domain

“It’s very accurate in knowing not only where people are looking, but what visual information they’re using,” Miellet says.

Dunn and Miellet, while studying the visual processing patterns of super-recognizers, found that, unlike typical recognizers, super-recognizers focus less on the eye region than normal viewers and focus more on the gaze. I noticed that it spreads it more evenly and extracts information from other facial features. .

“So the advantage of a super-recognizer is that it takes highly distinctive visual information and puts all the face pieces together like a puzzle quickly and accurately,” said Miellet.

Researchers at UNSW and UOW continue to study the super-cognitive population.

Miellet believes that one hypothesis is that a supercognitive’s psychic powers may arise from a particular curiosity and behavioral interest in other people. Potentially, hyper-perceived people may be more empathetic than most of us.

“In the next phase of our research, we will equip some super-recognizers and typical viewers with portable eye trackers and let them loose on the streets to see what they can do in real life, not in the lab. Observe how they interact with the world, Mielet said.

About this visual memory research news

author: Leah Thayer
sauce: APS
contact: Leah Thayer – APS
image: image is public domain

See also

It shows a yellow ball with different facial expressions on it.

Original research: closed access.
“Face Sampling in Super Recognizers” by Sebastien Miellet et al. psychology


Sampling Face Information in Super Recognizer

The perceptual processes underlying individual differences in facial recognition ability remain poorly understood.

A visual sampling of 37 adult super-recognitors (individuals with excellent facial recognition abilities) and a visual sampling of 68 typical adult viewers were used to learn and recognize unfamiliar faces. The comparison was made by measuring the gaze position when During both stages, participants viewed faces through ‘spotlight’ apertures of different sizes to constrain facial information in real time around the gaze point.

We found that the accuracy of the super-recognizer is high for all aperture sizes. This indicates that their superiority does not depend on global sampling of face information, but is also evident when we are forced to adopt piecemeal sampling. In addition, super-recognizers gazed more than typical viewers, focused less on the eye area, and dispersed their gaze.

These differences were most evident when learning faces, and are consistent with trends observed across a broader range of abilities, suggesting that they reflect factors that are dimensionally different in a broader population. I’m here.

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