First empirical validation of a novel diagnostic framework for lab-based Super-Recognizer identification and their value for policing

Professor Meike Ramon and Dr. Maren Mayer, respectively researchers at the University of Lausanne and the Leibniz Institute for Media Research, publish the results of the first-ever empirical study investigating how Super-Recognizers identified with a recently proposed formal diagnostic framework perform in forensic perpetrator identification in the prestigious journal PNAS.

Meike Ramon
12 May 2023

The recent study reveals that the lab-based method Meike Ramon has been developed to identify Super-Recognizers, people with an exceptional ability to compare and recognize faces, is valid for the assessment of their facial identification ability.

In the present study, 73 Super-Recognizers identified using Ramon’s approach performed significantly better than 45 control participants when identifying criminals based on CCTV footage and mugshot line-ups created and provided by the state police of Fribourg This is the first empirical study to test the skills of Super-Recognizers based on authentic forensic video footage.

The results of this initial study could be complemented by future research examining the effects of varying criminal demographics on the facial recognition abilities of Super-Recognizers. It will also be interesting to compare performance for tests involving more instances of real-world authentic material, that is the Berlin Test for Super-Recognizer Identification®, a bespoke tool Ramon co-developed over several years with the Berlin Police.

Read the press release in L'ACTU here.

Image credit: © Andrey Popov |