Oxford University Press - Online Resource Centres

Hole & Bourne: Face Processing


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General resources

This is the website of the Face Lab from the University of Aberdeen. As well as having lots of information about their research into face processing, the website also has some fun interactive stuff and experiments that you can participate in.

This website contains loads of visual illusions, including many face illusions. You need to register to access the materials, but registration is free.

The Face Recognition Homepage provides access to PDF's of lots of useful papers on face recognition, as well as acting as a gateway to numerous other useful websites

Chapter 1: Models of human face processing

The Glasgow Face Recognition Group website has information on Burton et al's IAC model (including a working version that you can try out), Burton et al's latest shape-averaging model, and information on the problems of recognisiing faces from CCTV. There are also links to older projects involving members of this group, on topics such as distinctiveness, Principal Component Analysis and gender perception.

Chapter 2: The nature of facial representations

Peter Hancock, at the University of Stirling, has some useful resources on his website, including animations of images produced using Principal Components Analysis.

This shows an advert for Kia's "Soul" car that involves faces made from horizontal strips of different faces; a nice demonstration of something akin to the composite face effect.

The Scottish Science and Technology Roadshow's website contains some nice examples of the Thatcher Illusion, using celebrity faces.

Professor Michael Bach, of the Universitäts-Augenklinik, Freiburg, has produced a website that contains striking examples of many different visual illusions. There is a section specifically on faces which includes, amongst others, the original version of the Thatcher Illusion; an animation of the Hollow Mask illusion; and Phillipe Schyns' "Dr. Angry and Mr. Smile". Each illusion is accompanied by an explanation for why it might occur. Well worth looking at.

As mentioned in chapters 1 and 2, we seem to be primed to detect face-like configurations. This website discusses a bizarre example of this phenomenon, the so-called "faces" on the surface of Mars that were originally photographed a couple of decades ago by the space-probe Viking 1. NASA explain how these are merely rock formations that happen to look like faces from certain viewpoints, rather than being artificial faces constructed by an alien civilisation.

Chapter 3: Processing emotional expression

All of Darwin’s books are available in full online. His book, “The Expression of the Emotions”, was one of the first scientific studies of facial emotion. It really is a fascinating read and the figures are very interesting!

Paul Ekman conducted a great deal of research on the processing of facial emotion since the 1960’s. His work has inspired much of the current work in the field, as well as the program “Lie to Me”

A great clip explaining and showing the basic facial expressions presented by one of the top researchers in the field.

An online test of how well you can distinguish between a genuine (Duchenne) smile and a faked smile.

Chapter 4: Faces as social stimuli

This is a website run by Lisa DeBruine and Ben Jones, experimental psychologists working at the University of Aberdeen. Their website contains numerous experiments on facial attractiveness, masculinity and feminity, as well as tutorials on how computer graphics are used to produce prototypical faces, caricatures, etc.

The "BeautyCheck" website give you the opportunity to do on-line experiments, and explains how factors such as averageness, symmetry and babyfacedness play a role on determining facial attractiveness. See how you think the real "Miss Germany"compares to a virtual rival produced by morphing together 22 contestants from the Miss Germany beauty contest!

The 'Face of the Future' website, at the University of St. Andrews. This enables you to upload a face and then manipulate in various ways (such as making it look older, younger, changing its race or gender). You can also produce an average from a set of faces; make morphs between faces; and the wesbite also shows you a demonstration of a computerised face detection system.

The 'Face of Sydney' project: an interesting example of using morphing to produce prototypical faces. This website describes a project to produce "average" faces of inhabitants of Sydney, Australia.

Proctor and Gamble's website contains various resources on the science of facial ageing and beauty.

Chapters 5 and 6: The development of face processing

Cathy Mondloch's Infant and Child Development Lab at Brock University, Ontario, has a website that contains access to numerous publications by Mondloch and her colleagues on the development of face recognition in infants and young children. It also has links to video demonstrations, including participants being tested in face recognition experiments and a video about the other-race effect.  

Mark Johnson's website at Birkbeck University gives you access to PDF's of many of his papers on infant cognitive development, including the development of face recognition.

A short video showing what the world (including faces) looks like to an infant, and demonstrations of the process of testing infant face perception.

Chapter 7: Clinical neuropsychology of face processing

This is a wonderful website put together by a woman who has congenital prosopagnosia. It is really difficult to imagine what it must be like to have prosopagnosia, but it is explained really clearly here.

This is a fascinating, but also quite sad, clip of a woman who has acquired prosopagnosia following a brain injury. It shows really clearly how she compensates to recognise people from features other than their face.

A fun insight into becoming a split brain research that also teaches the basics about the split brain operation and the consequences of it.

An amazing video about the split brain research conducted by Professor Gazzaniga. It shows some fascinating experiments that a patient who has undergone the split brain operation participates in. The clip also really clearly demonstrates the split brain operation.

This is the website of the Prosopagnosia Research Centres of University College London and Harvard University. It contains lots of information on prosopagnosia, and also enables you to measure your own face recognition abilities using on-line tests.

Chapter 8: Developmental neuropsychological disorders of face processing

A really interesting website all about childhood cataracts (which causes early visual deprivation). It also includes some real life stories and good examples of the changes in vision after the removal of the cataracts.

The Transporters is a cartoon developed by Professor Simon Baron-Cohen to help improve the processing of emotional faces by children who have autism. There are examples of the cartoon and quizzes on the website.

This is a You Tube channel set up by a man who has severe social anxiety disorder and who is recording his development as he goes through treatment. It provides a really interesting insight into social anxiety disorder.

Chapter 9: The cognitive neuroscience of face processing

An excellent, detailed, but still quite approachable website that explains how functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) works.

Professor Nancy Kanwisher has done a huge amount of fMRI work on face processing. This is a lecture that she gave summarising her work.

The University of Louvain's "Face Categorization Lab" website contains accesss to numerous PDF's of research articles on face processing by researchers such as Bruno Rossion, Adelaide de Heering, Fang Jiang and Dana Kuefner. Topics include whether faces are "special", the underlying neurophysiology of face recognition, the "other-race" effect, prosopagnosia and the development of face recognition.

Chapter 10: Are faces special?

This website is set up by the people who originally devised Greebles and gives some good examples as well as references for further reading.

This is the website of a lab where they look at children’s abilities to process human and monkey faces. There are links to some good videos showing and explaining the experiments they conduct.

Chapter 11: Eyewitness identification evidence, and recognition of unfamiliar faces

This is the homepage of Professor Gary Wels, an expert on the problems with eyewitness testimony. It contains links to a wealth of infomation on eyewitness testimony and the problems with it, plus links to many magazine and newspaper articles on the subject.

This is a link to Dan Wright's homepage at Florida International University. Dan has been a prolific researcher in the field of eyewitness testimony, and this page contains llinks to copies of many of his more recent publications that you can freely download.

The Royal Holloway Eyewitness Reearch Group is led by Amina Memon. It contains details of their research on eyewitness testimony, together with PDFs of some of their papers on the subject.

This is the website of John Turtle's "Police Investigation Techniques Lab". It contains a number of useful links, including one called "recommendations for eyewitness lineup procedures" that essentially tells police officers how to conduct a lineup based on psychologically-sound principles.

An entertaining demonstration of the fallibility of memory from a lecture by Brian Brushwood. See how reliable your own memory is!

Chapter 12: Own-group biases in face recognition

A two-part report by CBS news in their "60 Minutes" series, covering the problems with eyewitness testimony, including an interview with Gary Wells. It includes a discussion of the other-race effect.

Chapter 13: Technology and facial identification

Charlie Frowd's website contains a wealth of resources on composite systems, especially Evo-FIT.

Lots of information on EvoFIT can be found on EvoFIT's website.

More information on EFIT-V can be found on the website of the proprietors, Visonmetric Ltd.

Artem Brigert's website contains an interactive Flash-based application that enables you to construct a Photofit from a range of facial features. See how hard it is to construct a good likeness of a familar face!

This website contains examples of hilariously bad facial composites.

This website enables you to download a version of Photofit for your iPhone, and make Photofits from any photographs you care to use.

This is Derbyshire Constabulary's version of Photofit for the under-fives.