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April 2021: Neuroimaging study at the University of York
Would you like to know what your brain looks like? Researchers at the University of York (UK) are seeking individuals with developmental prosopagnosia for a neuroimaging study. Participants will be required to make simple decisions about visual stimuli while their neural activity is measured using functional MRI. For more information please contact Gabriela Epihova (
January 2021: Problems recognising non-face objects
Happy new year everyone! In 2021, the troublewithfaces team will be investigating the problems recognising non-face objects (e.g., cars, bikes, keys) sometimes seen in developmental prosopagnosia. We would love to hear about any anecdotes you'd be willing to share. What types of objects / situations do you have problems with? Please email with your experiences (with the subject line 'objects')

November 2020: New paper is out! 

Several regions of the brain implicated in face processing also appear to be involved in the recognition of identity from voice cues. In this paper we investigate whether people with developmental prosopagnosia (DPs) experience problems with vocal recognition as well as face recognition. We find that DPs show typical unimpaired recognition of celebrity voice. 

This paper is freely available here:  Normal recognition of famous voices in developmental prosopagnosia | Scientific Reports (

October 2018: Federica completes her PhD!

Huge congratulation to Dr Federica Biotti on the successful defence of her PhD thesis. 

September 2017: New member of the team! 

We are delighted to announce that Maria Tsantani has joined 

October 2017: A new paper is out!

A collaboration between Troublewithfaces and Faceblind teams resulted in a new publication in Cortex, where co-first authors Federica Biotti and Esther Wu showed normal composite face effect in two independent groups of individuals with developmental prosopagnosia. We want to thank Professor Brad Duchaine and his team for the brilliant work! 


September 2017: Richard moves to Birkbeck, University of London

After 5 years lecturing at City, University of London, Richard moves to Birkbeck College, where he will be holding the position of Reader in Psychology. 


August 2017: A new paper is out!

We are proud to announce that the study conducted by Dr Rebecca Brewer on bodily and face emotion cues integration in Autism Spectrum Disorder is published in Cognition


May 2017: A new paper is out!

In her latest study published in Cortex, Federica showed that developmental prosopagnosia can be associated with difficulties recognising bodies. The lack of association between body and general object recognition impairments suggests that these two deficits may occur as independent neurodevelopmental conditions. 


May 2017: Vision Sciences Society 17th Annual Meeting 

Dr Richard Cook, Dr Rebecca Brewer, Dr Katie Gray and Jennifer Murphy presented the latest findings of team at the VSS international conference held every year in Florida, US. 


July 2016: New testing Centre at the University of Reading

We are delighted to announce that Dr Katie Gray (a lecturer at the University of Reading) has joined the team as a Principal Investigator. 


May 2016: New paper 

This study, published in the journal Cortex, investigates the perception of facial emotion by individuals with developmental prosopagnosia. A big thank you to all those who took part! 

April 2016: Quick guide to developmental prosopagnosia
In this article published in Current Biology, Rich and Fede discuss the causes and symptoms of developmental prosopagnosia. 

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November 2015: Article in The Conversation 

In this article appearing in The Conversation, Rich and Fede discuss developmental prosopagnosia.  


June 2015: The PI20 is published! 

Our new self-report scale for the identification of prosopagnosic traits, the PI20, has been published at Royal Society Open Science. A big thank you to everyone who assisted in its construction and validation. 

May 2015: troublewithfaces at VSS
The troublewithfaces team were well-represented at the annual meeting of the Vision Sciences Society (VSS) at St Pete        Beach, Florida. Federica presented new research into emotion recognition in developmental prosopagnosia, Rebecca  highlighted new work addressing atypical trait judgments made from facial cues in developmental alexithymia, and Rich compared the face recognition difficulties seen in autism and prosopagnosia. 

October 2014: New paper to be published in Cortex! 

The following paper on memory for faces in developmental prosopagnosia will soon appear in Cortex. We would like to thank all those who participated. 

Shah, P., Gaule, A., Gaigg, S., Bird, G., & Cook, R. (2014). Probing short-term face memory in developmental prosopagnosia. Cortex. pdf


August 2014: Is facial symmetry related to health? 

In his article in The Conversation Rich discusses new research that casts doubt on the received story that facial symmetry is a attractive because it signals immuno-competence or 'good genes'. 


July 2014: Rich wins the Wiley Prize! 

Rich has been awarded the British Academy's 2014 Wiley Prize in Psychology in recognition of his outstanding early-career work.



April 2014: City University London celebrates World Autism Awareness Day

On the 2nd April, City University London's College Building and Social Science Building were lit up with blue lights to show support for World Autism Awareness Day. For more information see City-in-Blue.


March 2014: New evidence that difficulties with face recognition in prosopagnosia are face-specific
There has been a longstanding debate about whether faces are processed by brain mechanisms specialised for faces or not. Research from Brad Duchine's lab has now found that,  individuals with prosopagnosia, after training, are able to learn to discriminate between Greebles (novel objects that differ from one another in similar ways to faces) but remain impaired at recognising faces. This suggests that faces are processed in a specialized way compared to other objects, and that prosopagnosia is likely to be a face-specific difficulty. Rezlescu, C., Barton, J. S., Pitcher, D., & Duchaine, B. (2014). Normal acquisition of expertise with greebles in two cases of acquired prosopagnosia. PNAS

January 2014: Many congratulations to Dr Jennifer Cook!
Jennifer, a friend and collaborator based at City University London, has been named as the 2014 winner of the EPS's Frith Prize for her outstanding research in the field of social neuroscience. Very well deserved and probably not the last award she will win! Check out her website.
December 2013: Our new paper on orienting to face-like patterns in Autism
People are thought to have a 'hard-wired' tendency to orient to face-like patterns to aid the development of expert face recognition. In this article, we investigate whether this orienting instinct is present in individuals with autism.
Shah, P., Gaule, A., Bird, G., & Cook, R. (2013). Robust orienting to protofacial stimuli in autism. Current Biology, 23(24), R1087-R1088.

September 2013: Here is an interesting facial illusion we came across recently. The images can appear to depict either frontal or profile views of faces. Most people find these percepts mutually exclusive - at any given time, you can see one or the other, but never both simultaneously. Illusions with this quality are referred to as 'bistable' and illustrate how our brains use previous experiences to impose an interpretation on the information flooding in from outside.

July 2013: Grant for Rich!
Rich has been identified as a Future Research Leader by the ESRC and awarded £246,166 towards his work on motor contributions to the perception of facial expressions.
July 2013: Mixed emotions?
Check out the latest publication from the group by following the link below. In this article, Geoff and Rich argue that the emotional sytoms of autism - including potential problems with emotion recognition and empathy - are in fact less common than widely thought, and where observed, reflect the presence of co-occuring alexithymia.
Bird, G. & Cook, R. (2013). Mixed emotions: The contribution of alexithymia to the emotional symptoms of autism.  Translational Psychiatry, 3(7), e285.
May 2013: Alexithymia predicts poor recognition of emotional facial expressions in autism
People with Autism are often said to have trouble recongising emotional expressions. We recently found that this might not be due to the autism itself, but rather, the high levels of alexithymia in the autistic population.
Cook, R., Brewer, R., Shah, P., & Bird, G. (2013). Alexithymia, not autism, predicts poor recognition of emotional facial expressions. Psychological Science, 24(5), 723-732.