Think you have prosopagnosia or are a super-recognizer? Register to participate in our research..

Professor Sarah Bate BA MSc PhD CPsychol

Professor of Psychology, Bournemouth University, UK

Welcome to

I am a Professor of Psychology at Bournemouth University investigating individual differences in human face recognition ability. I am particularly interested in adults and children who struggle with this skill (and may have a condition known as "prosopagnosia" or "face blindness") or appear to have very sophisticated face recognition abilities (sometimes referred to as "super recognisers").

This web site offers information about prosopagnosia and super recognition, and you can read our recent research publications and media coverage about our work. We are always very pleased to hear from anyone who believes they fall into either category, and appreciate any assistance with our ongoing research projects.


Prosopagnosia is a visuo-cognitive condition that is characterised by everyday difficulties in face recognition. These difficulties are severe, affecting the recognition of close friends and family. We have a detailed information page, and you can read about prosopagnosia in children here.

An information video that we created in collaboration with the British Psychological Society and the Encephalitis Society can be viewed here.


Prosopagnosia is recognised by the NHS (UK). However, it is mostly very difficult to get an assessment via NHS services. The vast majority of people approach researchers at a university, such as ourselves. You can read more about this process here.

You can register your interest in an assessment for yourself or a child in your care here. We also have an evidence-based peer-reviewed symptom checklist that may be useful to educational and psychological professionals.


There is currently no formal treatment for prosopagnosia. However, some researchers are developing intervention programmes, and by registering your interest in their research you may be able to take part in a study. We have recently published some promising research findings, and are looking for adults and children to take part in ongoing validation studies.

We also recently published a list of compensatory techniques that may help people who experience prosopagnosia. This may also be of interest to relevant professionals.

Superior face recognition skills

In recent years there has been growing interest in people with superior face recognition skills, and their potential mobilisation in policing and national security settings. It is important to note that research into this phenomenon is very young, and the academic field has yet to agree upon a set of diagnostic tests that can reliably identify people who are well-suited to different face recognition tasks.

In fact, our recent work has demonstrated inconsistencies in the performance of "super-recognisers", and weaknesses in dominant diagnostic protocols.

You can read these papers on our publications page, including work we have carried out with the Police, alongside relevant media coverage.

Our work investigating the theoretical underpinnings and identification of super recognisers is ongoing, and we are always very keen to hear from people who believe they have proficient face recognition skills and are willing to assist with our research.