Seminar Series

Some differences between familiar and unfamiliar face processing

Recent research has shown that we are remarkably good at recognising familiar faces, even in very degraded images, such as those used in video security surveillance. In a previous seminar to the department I described some of these experiments. In this talk I will describe some recent experiments showing that we are surprisingly bad at matching unfamiliar faces, even when images are taken on the same day in good lighting conditions and high quality equipment. I will also report some experiments investigating this difference between familiar and unfamiliar face processing. Finally, I will describe some attempts to model familiar and unfamiliar face recognition which suggest that rather different processes underly the two tasks.