Tags: Law Enforcement | super recognizers | facial recognition | London Metropolitan Police | world

UK Cops Using Gifted 'Super Recognizers' to Fight Crime

By    |   Tuesday, 16 Jun 2015 04:31 PM

Law enforcement's anti-crime fight is beginning to use civilians with a remarkable superpower-like ability to recognize faces — and a new online test could ultimately help police in the recruitment effort.

Known as "super recognizers," the rarely gifted people can remember up to 80 percent of the faces they see — normal recall is about 20 percent —and London's Metropolitan police have been using them to help identify criminals in photographs and television images, the Independent reports.

"If you have experiences where you often recognize people out of context that's an indicator," you may be among the elite group, psychologist Richard Russell of Gettysburg College in Philadelphia, who first coined the term in 2009, tells the BBC. "If you’re more likely to recognize someone else than they are to recognize you, then that's an indicator."

"Many describe not being sure whether to go up to someone – often it’s someone they knew only incidentally, and they fear they may come across as a stalker. Some report just faking not to know people."

Though scientists are still puzzled at how the ability works, a new online test from Britain's Greenwich University claims to be able to identify those with the unique gift. Psychology lecturer Josh Davis at the university tells Yahoo Health "super recognizers" make up "probably less than 1 percent of the population."

According to the Independent, the test asks participants to stare at a range of different faces for eight seconds, then pick out that face from a line-up of eight. Anyone who gets 10 more correct answers is likely to be one of the rarely gifted.

The Metropolitan Police, meanwhile, began using a team of "super recognizers" last year to help identify a construction worker suspected in the slaying of a 14-year-old girl, and they are putting the team to work in keeping tabs on large groups at various events, the Independent reports.

But scientists are also working on ways to train people with very poor face recognition memory to recognize faces better, and the effort "may shed light on how to train people to be even better than average," Russell tells Yahoo Health.

Brad Duchaine, an associate professor at Dartmouth College who studies cognitive neuroscience, says researchers are looking at whether the strategies "super recognizers" use to remember faces might be developed in people with normal face recognition abilities, according to Yahoo Health.

© 2017 NewsmaxWorld. All rights reserved.

   
1Like our page
2Share
International
Law enforcement's anti-crime fight is beginning to use civilians with a remarkable superpower-like ability to recognize faces - and a new online test could ultimately help police in the recruitment effort.
super recognizers, facial recognition, London Metropolitan Police, world
396
2015-31-16
Tuesday, 16 Jun 2015 04:31 PM
Newsmax Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved