Prosopagnosia, or “face blindness”, is a rare medical condition in which patients are unable to recognize human faces, in some cases, even their own faces or those of their immediate family. The advent of the internet has now enabled a study of such extreme instances to be undertaken. During these studies, however, researchers and psychologists discovered 4 people who had exactly the opposite issue to face blindness. The researchers found individuals who were at the extreme other end of the spectrum – and they were incredibly good at remembering faces at being able to identify them, notwithstanding the passage of time, their age, gender, appearance or even disguise.
Clearly a spectrum exists and we now know that the skills of ‘super recognisers’ are estimated to abide in as few as 1% of the human population worldwide. It is this very small population which we now seek to identify, to assess, select and to develop further to deter and fight crime and extremism in our increasingly unstable World. Such skills cannot be taught – they are preternatural and unique to an individual.
Tests to identify their skills have been verified by many academic institutions both here and in the USA. The search is now on to identify suitable candidates for further development. Should you wish to assess your own skills in this area then do go to the University of Greenwich website and have a go at the tests for yourself – see http://superrecognisers.com
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