Super-recognisers: some people excel at both face and voice recognition

Ryan Jenkins, D.J. Robertson, Josh Davis

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle

10 Downloads (Pure)


How good do you think you are at recognising faces? What about voices? Some people are great at it, while others struggle. Researchers have found a large variation in people's abilities to recognise the faces or voices of those completely unknown to them. When it comes to face recognition, the ability ranges from those who struggle to recognise the faces of friends and family – a condition known as "prosopagnosia" or face-blindness – to those who have demonstrated exceptional unfamiliar face recognition skills, called "super-recognisers". These super-recognisers have been successfully deployed in many agencies, including London's police service. Similar findings have also been discovered for voice recognition. The condition "phonagnosia" describes those who struggle to recognise the voices of their friends and family. But whether or not someone can possess exceptionally good voice recognition ability remained uncovered, until now.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages4
Specialist publicationThe Conversation
Publication statusPublished - 12 Mar 2021


  • super recogniser
  • face recognition
  • voice recognition
  • face matching
  • voice matching
  • identity recognition

Cite this