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Updated: Sep 14, 2019

Good luck to Ryan Jenkins (PhD Psychology student) who is giving a presentation at the University of East Anglia's Postgraduate Researcher Conference "Your voice matters: Postgraduate research in the social sciences" taking place in Norwich, UK, in a few days' time (17 June 2019).

His talk is titled "An exploration of cross-modal identity-processing abilities in faces and voices", the research for which was part of a collaboration with David Robertson (University of Strathclyde), Sarah Stevenage and Ashley Symons (University of Southampton) and his supervisor Josh Davis (University of Greenwich).

Its abstract can be read below:

Models drawing on cognitive and neuropsychological face and voice identity processing research suggest analogous links underlying cross-modal mechanisms. Patterns of performance dissociation has emerged between face and voice recognition, and between memory and matching tasks. Recognition literature has revealed deficits for faces (prosopagnosia) and voices (phonagnosia), but also individuals with exceptional face processing abilities (super-recognisers). The study aimed to examine whether the ‘super’ status generalises across domains. Based on previous face test data, participants were categorised into four groups: Superior Face Identifiers (exceptional in face memory and matching), Superior Face Recognisers (exceptional in face memory only), Superior Face Matchers (exceptional in face matching only) and Controls (typical-range scorers at both tasks). Participants completed the Bangor Voice Matching Test, the Glasgow Voice Memory Test, and a bespoke Famous Voice Recognition Test online. Hits, correct rejections, and Signal Detection Theory, sensitivity (d/) and Response Bias (C) were analysed via a series of one-way and two-way mixed ANOVAs. The results demonstrated that participants with exceptional face memory abilities (Superior Face Identifiers and Superior Face Recognisers) tended to outperform participants with typical-range face memory abilities (Superior Face Matches and Controls) at the Famous Voice Recognition Test, and at correctly rejecting previously unheard voices at the Glasgow Voice Memory Test. Similarly, participants with exceptional face matching abilities (Superior Face Identifiers and Superior Face Matchers) tended to outperform participants with typical-range face memory abilities (Superior Face Recognisers and Controls) at the Bangor Voice Matching Test. Group differences were also found in voices but not bells of the Glasgow Voice Memory Test, suggesting the existence of a voice-specific effect, similar to those proposed for faces. Performance patterns found in this study offer interesting suggestions that an underlying cross-modal identity-specific mechanism drives these processes.


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