Navigation Links
New research about facial recognition turns common wisdom on its head
Date:3/19/2012

A team of researchers that includes a USC scientist has methodically demonstrated that a face's features or constituents more than the face per se are the key to recognizing a person.

Their study, which goes against the common belief that brains process faces "holistically," appears this month in Psychological Science.

In addition to shedding light on the way the brain functions, these results may help scientists understand rare facial recognition disorders.

Humans are great at recognizing faces. There are even regions in the brain that are specifically associated with face perception the most well-known one is the fusiform gyrus in the temporal lobe.

Common wisdom has it that humans recognize the face "holistically," meaning that there is something about the picture created by the entire face the particular arrangement of a face's eyes, nose, and mouth and not just these features themselves that makes it easier for the human brain to make a positive ID.

That common wisdom appears to be wrong.

"There is this belief that faces are special," said the study's coauthor Bosco Tjan, associate professor of psychology at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. "But why? How is the face special?"

To use an automotive metaphor, would it be easier for a car aficionado to identify a '58 Corvette by its distinctive quad headlights, chunky chrome grille and swoop on the side or if shown the car that all these pieces make when added together?

Tjan and collaborators Jason M. Gold, associate professor of psychology at Indiana University, Bloomington and IU undergraduate student Patrick J. Mundy tested participants on how accurately they were able to identify a set of faces by the parts of those faces the nose, left eye, right eye or mouth.

Then, using a well-established formula that Tjan developed in an earlier study, the researchers extrapolated how accurately each participant should be able to identify an entire face.

If humans were better at face recognition than nose or eye recognition, one would expect each participant to do a better job of identification when the features are all arranged together into a face. But in fact, the participants did a little worse than predicted by Tjan's formula.

Facial recognition, it appears, hinges on recognizing the face's features more than the "holistic" picture they add up to create.


'/>"/>

Contact: Robert Perkins
perkinsr@usc.edu
213-740-9226
University of Southern California
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Step forward in research into new treatments for brain edema
2. Researchers discover novel therapy for Crohns disease
3. UC research: Tracking Lake Erie water snake in fight against invasive fish
4. UC research tests new tool to guide reintroduction of the American chestnut
5. Record-breaking grant: New research project to investigate the causes of mental disorders
6. Genetic research develops tools for studying diseases, improving regenerative treatment
7. Researchers reveal how a single gene mutation leads to uncontrolled obesity
8. Columbia Engineering and Penn researchers increase speed of single-molecule measurements
9. New research lowers past estimates of sea-level rise
10. Researchers print live cells with a standard inkjet printer
11. Researchers uncover molecular pathway through which common yeast becomes fungal pathogen
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/9/2016)... innovation leader in attendance control systems is proud to announce the introduction of fingerprint ... sure the right employees are actually signing in, and to even control the opening ... ... ... Photo ...
(Date:6/3/2016)... June 3, 2016 ... Nepal hat ein ... hochsicherer geprägter Kennzeichen, einschließlich Personalisierung, Registrierung und ... der Produktion und Implementierung von Identitätsmanagementlösungen. Zahlreiche ... im Januar teilgenommen, aber Decatur wurde als ...
(Date:6/2/2016)... 2016 Perimeter Surveillance & Detection ... Physical Infrastructure, Support & Other Service  The ... offers comprehensive analysis of the global Border Security ... revenues of $17.98 billion in 2016. Now: ... leader in software and hardware technologies for advanced video ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... TORONTO , June 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - ... Ontario biotechnology company, Propellon ... the development and commercialization of a portfolio of ... cancers. Epigenetic targets such as WDR5 represent an ... contribute significantly in precision medicine for cancer patients. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- The Biodesign Challenge (BDC), a university competition that asks ... systems and biotechnology, announced its winning teams at the ... York City . The teams, chosen ... MoMA,s Celeste Bartos Theater during the daylong summit. Keynote ... of architecture and design, and Suzanne Lee , ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... LOUISVILLE, Ky. , June 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... from two Phase 1 clinical trials of its ... double-blind, placebo-controlled, single and multiple ascending dose studies ... and pharmacodynamics (PD) of subcutaneous injection in healthy ... APL-2 subcutaneously (SC) either as a single dose ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... and technical consulting, provides a free webinar on Performing Quality Investigations: ... 2016 at 12pm CT at no charge. , Incomplete investigations are still a ...
Breaking Biology Technology: