Are super-face-recognisers also super-voice-recognisers? Evidence from cross-modal identification tasks

Ryan E. Jenkins, Stella Tsermentseli, Claire P. Monks, David J. Robertson, Sarah V. Stevenage, Ashley E. Symons, Josh P. Davis

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Individual differences in face identification ability range from prosopagnosia to super-recognition. The current study examined whether face identification ability predicts voice identification ability (participants: N = 529). Superior-face identifiers (exceptional at face memory and matching), superior-face recognisers (exceptional at face memory only), superior-face-matchers (exceptional face matchers only), and controls completed the Bangor Voice Matching Test, Glasgow Voice Memory Test, and a Famous Voice Recognition Test. Meeting predictions, those possessing exceptional face memory and matching skills outperformed typical-range face groups at voice memory and voice matching respectively. Proportionally more super-face identifiers also achieved our super voice-recogniser criteria on two or more tests. Underlying cross-modality (voices vs. faces) and cross-task (memory vs. perception) mechanisms may therefore drive superior performances. Dissociations between Glasgow Voice Memory Test voice and bell recognition also suggest voice-specific effects to match those found with faces. These findings have applied implications for policing, particularly in cases when only suspect voice clips are available.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages16
JournalApplied Cognitive Psychology
Early online date2 Mar 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2 Mar 2021


  • face recognition
  • face matching
  • unfamiliar faces
  • familiar faces
  • voice matching
  • voice recognition
  • unfamiliar voices
  • identity recognition
  • policing
  • security
  • suspect idenitification
  • identity verification
  • super recognisers
  • super face recognisers
  • super voice recognisers

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