Mary Jackson was an intelligent 19-year old student who was particularly conscientious and studious. She had a bright future as a paediatrician. But her boyfriend noticed it first, in the summer after her second year at University. She started drinking, became suddenly promiscuous, and broke up with Tom as a result. She lost all her old friends, and took crack cocaine. Nobody knew what had happened in her life. Her grades plummeted. Her adviser at University recommended a psychiatrist, but she never went. She stopped attending class. Her life fell apart. Eventually she saw a GP about an illness, where she broke down in a fit of hysterical tears, saying she had lost control of her life, and she complained that she was "unable to control her own impulses". She couldn't resist temptation. She made one reckless decision after another. She was referred to a neurologist. He found her working memory had seriously diminished, and many psychological tests just made her angry - yet she had always used to be so patient and a good student! Her internal goals and decisions were no longer moderating her behaviour. 19
In recent years I have also began to examine the face recognition abilities of people at the other end of the spectrum, who have extraorinary face recognition skills and appear to never forget a face. These so-called "super-recognisers" may be of particular use in policing and national security settings, such as passport control or when hunting for a wanted or missing person. My laboratory is now developing a specific line of expertise in forensic face recognition, and a sister website about this work is currently in preparation. In the meantime, you can read more about super recognition here .