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Dr Sarah Laurence

Profile summary

Professional biography

I joined the Open University in November 2020. Previously, I worked as a Lecturer in the School of Psychology at Keele University and I spent two years as a Postdoctoral Fellow at Brock University, Canada, working in the Face Perception Lab. I started my academic career at the University of Sussex where I completed both my BSc. and Ph.D. in Psychology.

Research interests

I am currently conducting research that aims to understand: a) the nature of our memory representations of familiar faces, b) how a face transitions from being unfamiliar to familiar, c) face recognition in applied settings (e.g. policing, security, missing persons).

In 2018 I was awarded a New Investigator award from the Economic and Social Research Council. This is funding a project that examines how we recognise faces across changes in appearance brought about by ageing.


Recognising familiar faces out of context (2021)
Laurence, Sarah; Eyre, Jordyn and Strathie, Ailsa
Perception ((Early access))

Attending to Identity Cues Reduces the Own-age but not the Own-race Recognition Advantage (2019-04)
Proietti, Valentina; Laurence, Sarah; Matthews, Claire M.; Zhou, Xiaomei and Mondloch, Catherine J.
Vision Research, 157 (pp. 184-191)

How does a newly encountered face become familiar? The effect of within-person variability on adults' and children's perception of identity (2017-04)
Baker, Kristen A.; Laurence, Sarah and Mondloch, Catherine J.
Cognition, 161 (pp. 19-30)

Research activity in Canadian developmental psychology programs (2016-05)
Farrell, A. H.; Semplonius, T.; Shapira, M.; Zhou, X.; Laurence, Sarah; Willoughby, T.; Mahy, C. E. V.; Mondloch, C. J. and Evans, A. D.
Canadian Psychology/Psychologie canadienne, 57(2) (pp. 76-82)

That’s my teacher! Children’s ability to recognize personally familiar and unfamiliar faces improves with age (2016-03)
Laurence, Sarah and Mondloch, Catherine J
Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 143 (pp. 123-138)

The flip side of the other-race coin: They all look different to me (2015-06-23)
Laurence, Sarah; Zhou, Xiaomei and Mondloch, Catherine J.
British Journal of Psychology, 107(2) (pp. 374-388)

Lecturers' faces fatigue their students: Face identity aftereffects for dynamic and static faces (2014)
Laurence, Sarah; Hole, Graham J and Hills, Peter J
Visual Cognition, 22(8) (pp. 1072-1083)

Identity specific adaptation with composite faces (2012)
Laurence, Sarah and Hole, Graham J
Visual Cognition, 20(2) (pp. 109-120)

The effect of familiarity on face adaptation (2011)
Laurence, Sarah and Hole, Graham
Perception, 40(4) (pp. 450-463)