Accessibility statement

Rob Jenkins



Rob obtained a degree in Cognitive Science at the University of Westminster, followed by a PhD at the Psychology department of University College London. His research interests include face perception and social interaction. He has published on these topics in Science, Current Biology, Psychological Science, and other journals.

In 2007 he was awarded the BSA Joseph Lister prize for science communication. In 2012 he was awarded the RSE/Sir Thomas Makdougall Brisbane early career medal for Physical Sciences.

Rob Jenkins is a BPS Chartered Psychologist and a member of the RSE Young Academy of Scotland.  In 2012 he was elected to the Global Young Academy.


  • 2013-present - Reader, Department of Psychology, University of York
  • 2006-2013 - Lecturer, then Senior Lecturer, University of Glasgow
  • 2004-2006 - Scientist staff, MRC Cognition & Brain Sciences Unit, Cambridge
  • 2002-2004 - British Academy Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Glasgow
  • 2000-2002 - Postdoctoral Research Assistant, University of Glasgow



Face perception


I am a cognitive psychologist. I conduct experimental research on the basic building blocks of thinking – perception, attention, memory. Most of my research is on the topic of face perception. I am interested in the information that we read from each other’s faces, and especially how we identify individuals from face images. Studying this seemingly simple process has taught us much about human cognition. It has also led to applied impacts in security and forensic settings.

Research group(s)

  • Perception and action
  • Social interaction


  • 2008-2010ARC LX0883067. Solving the passport problem: re-designing photo-ID to improve recognition [£100k]
  • 2008-2009ESRC 000-22-2519. Solving the passport problem: Improving face matching through choice of images [£90k]
  • 2008-2010ESRC 062-23-0549. Familiar face aftereffects [£220k]
  • 2007-2011ESRC 060-25-0010. Social interaction: A cognitive neurosciences approach [£4.5M]
  • 2004-2006ESRC 000-23-0437. Robust representations for face recognition [£90k]
  • 2003-2004British Academy SG-35661. Gaze perception and memory [£10k]
  • 2002-2004British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship PDF/2002/75 [£63k]


  • 2012 - RSE/Sir Thomas Makdougall Brisbane early career medal for Physical Sciences
  • 2012 - STA Teaching Innovation Award
  • 2008 - Neural Correlate Society Best Visual Illusion of the Year
  • 2007 - BA Joseph Lister Award for science communication
  • 1996 - Raymond Whittle Physics Prize for Outstanding Undergraduate Research


  • Prof Tim Andrews, University of York, UK
  • Prof Mike Burton, University of Aberdeen, UK
  • Prof Richard Kemp, University of New South Wales, Australia
  • Prof Helmut Leder, University of Vienna, Austria
  • Prof Miles Padgett, University of Glasgow, UK
  • Prof Stefan Schweinberger, Friedrich-Schiller University, Jena, Germany
  • Dr David White, University of New South Wales, Australia
  • Prof Sakiko Yoshikawa, Kyoto University, Japan
  • Prof Andy Young, University of York, UK


Selected publications

  • Jenkins, R., & Burton, A.M. (2008). 100% accuracy in automatic face recognition. Science, 319, 435.
  • Jenkins, R., White, D., Van Montfort, X., & Burton, A.M. (2011). Variability in photos of the same face. Cognition, 121, 313-323.
  • Calder, A.J., Jenkins, R., Cassel, A., & Clifford, C.W.G. (2008). Visual representation of eye gaze is coded by a non-opponent multichannel system. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 137, 244–261.
  • Burton, A.M., Bindemann, M., Langton, S.R.H., Schweinberger, S.R., & Jenkins, R. (2009). Gaze perception requires focused attention: Evidence from an interference task. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception & Performance, 35, 108-118.
  • Sanders J. G., Jenkins R., Weekly fluctuations in risk tolerance and voting behaviour (2016). (PDF , 716kb)


Full publications list

External activities


  • 2013-present  Member of the Global Young Academy (GYA)
  • 2012-present  Member of the RSE Young Academy of Scotland (YAS)
  • 2012-present  Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society (BPS)
  • 2012-present  BPS Chartered Psychologist
  • 2011-present  Member of the Royal Society of Edinburgh Young Academy
  • 2006-present  Member of Association for Psychological Science (APS)
  • 2002-present  Member of the Experimental Psychology Society (EPS)

Contact details

Dr Rob Jenkins
Department of Psychology
Room PS/E/106

Tel: 01904 323144