As a researcher I investigate the cognitive and neural mechanism of face perception and recognition, a skill we often take for granted. Faces are visually complex objects and there is actually very limited variation between them, so the fact that we can easily distinguish and recognize so many individual identities with ease is astonishing. I am also interested in understanding why there is a broad spectrum of face recognition abilities, why some people have trouble recognizing very familiar faces of close family or friends, whereas others claim to “never forget a face”. I would like to understand the mechanisms that underpin this individual difference and to know whether they are specific to face processing or whether they are related to a general visual processing ability.
As BSc Psychology Assistant Director, I am involved in the students’ research methods training. Our students develop the wide variety of skills needed for producing cutting-edge experimental psychology research, so that at the end of their undergraduate course they are able to produce publishable work.