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Facial Processing and Recognition

5. Current Research

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In this lecture, we think about some current research in the field of facial recognition, focusing in particular on: (i) a key focus of improving facial recognition being on the ability to view a face holistically, as a lack of ability to recognise the individual features of a face does not tend to be the problem sufferers have; (ii) the use of super-recogniser police officers, including PC Gary Collins, to identify individuals who had committed crimes during the 2011 London riots; (iii) further use of super-recognisers in identifying the perpetrators of the Salisbury poisoning in 2018; (iv) potential ethical implications of creating effective facial recognition software for surveillance.


In this course, Dr Ashok Jansari (Goldsmiths, University of London) explores the process of face recognition. In the first lecture, we think about what makes a face special as a visual stimulus. In the second lecture, we think about what information a face conveys, including identity and emotions. In the third lecture, we think about why human faces are special and explore some facial interpretations, such as a face inversion effect. Next, we think about prosopagnosia, aphantasia and super-recognition abilities. In the fifth and final lecture, we think about some current research on facial recognition, including its implementation in law enforcement and surveillance.


Dr Ashok Jansari is a senior lecturer in the Department of Psychology at Goldsmiths, University of London. Dr Jansari’s research interests include memory disorders, prosopagnosia, executive functions, and synaesthesia. Dr Jansari is most famous for his research into prosopagnosia, having made numerous TV appearances, including on BBC1’s The One Show, as well as hosting his own ‘Neuro Talk’ YouTube channel:

Some of Dr Jansari's recent publications include 'Acquired synaesthesia following 2C-B use' (2019), 'Using virtual reality to investigate multitasking ability in individuals with frontal lobe lesions' (2019), and 'Identification from CCTV: Assessing police super-recogniser ability to spot faces in a crown and susceptibility to change blindness' (2018).

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APA style

Jansari, A. (2022, June 09). Facial Processing and Recognition - Current Research [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Jansari, A. "Facial Processing and Recognition – Current Research." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 09 Jun 2022,

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