Psychonomic Bulletin & Review

, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 100–106 | Cite as

Feedback training for facial image comparison

  • David White
  • Richard I. Kemp
  • Rob Jenkins
  • A. Mike Burton
Brief Report

Abstract

People are typically poor at matching the identity of unfamiliar faces from photographs. This observation has broad implications for face matching in operational settings (e.g., border control). Here, we report significant improvements in face matching ability following feedback training. In Experiment 1, we show cumulative improvement in performance on a standard test of face matching ability when participants were provided with trial-by-trial feedback. More important, Experiment 2 shows that training benefits can generalize to novel, widely varying, unfamiliar face images for which no feedback is provided. The transfer effect specifically benefited participants who had performed poorly on an initial screening test. These findings are discussed in the context of existing literature on unfamiliar face matching and perceptual training. Given the reliability of the performance enhancement and its generalization to diverse image sets, we suggest that feedback training may be useful for face matching in occupational settings.

Keywords

Face recognition Unfamiliar face matching Identity verification Perceptual learning 

References

  1. Bruce, V., Henderson, Z., Greenwood, K., Hancock, P. J. B., Burton, A. M., & Miller, P. (1999). Verification of face identities from images captured on video. Journal of Experimental Psychology. Applied, 7, 207–218.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bruce, V., & Young, A. W. (1986). Understanding face recognition. British Journal of Psychology, 77(3), 305–327.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bruck, M., Cavanagh, P., & Ceci, S. J. (1991). Fortysomething: Recognizing faces at one's 25th reunion. Memory and Cognition, 19(3), 221–228.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Burton, A. M. (2013). Why has research in face recognition progressed so slowly? The importance of variability. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology. Advance online publication. doi:10.1080/17470218.2013.800125
  5. Burton, A. M., Jenkins, R., Hancock, P., & White, D. (2005). Robust representations for face recognition: The power of averages. Cognitive Psychology, 51, 256–284.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Burton, A. M., Jenkins, R., & Schweinberger, S. R. (2011). Mental representations of familiar faces. British Journal of Psychology, 102(4), 943–958.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Burton, A. M., White, D., & McNeill, A. (2010). The Glasgow Face Matching Test. Behavior Research Methods, 42, 286–291.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Burton, A. M., Wilson, S., Cowan, M., & Bruce, V. (1999). Face recognition in poor-quality video: Evidence from security surveillance. Psychological Science, 10(3), 243–248.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Clutterbuck, R., & Johnston, R. A. (2005). Demonstrating how unfamiliar faces become familiar using a face matching task. European Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 17(1), 97–116.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Cutler, V., & Paddock, S. (2009). Use of threat image projection (TIP) to enhance security performance. In Security technology, 2009. 43rd Annual 2009 International Carnahan Conference (pp. 46–51).Google Scholar
  11. Green, C. S., & Bavelier, D. (2003). Action video game modifies visual selective attention. Nature, 423(6939), 534–537.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Gonzalez, C., & Madhavan, P. (2011). Diversity during training enhances detection of novel stimuli. Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 23(3), 342–350.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Hussain, Z., Sekuler, A. B., & Bennett, P. J. (2009). Perceptual learning modifies inversion effects for faces and textures. Vision Research, 49, 2273–2284.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Hussain, Z., Bennett, P. J., & Sekuler, A. B. (2012). Versatile perceptual learning of textures after variable exposures. Vision Research, 61, 89–94.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Jenkins, R., & Burton, A. M. (2011). Stable face representations. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 366, 1671–1683.Google Scholar
  16. Jenkins, R., White, D., Van Montfort, X., & Burton, A. M. (2011). Variability in photos of the same face. Cognition, 121, 313–323.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Kemp, R. I., Towell, N., & Pike, G. (1997). When seeing should not be believing: Photographs, credit cards and fraud. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 11, 211–222.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Megreya, A., & Burton, A. M. (2006). Unfamiliar faces are not faces: Evidence from a matching task. Memory & Cognition, 34, 865–876.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Megreya, A., & Burton, A. (2008). Matching faces to photographs: Poor performance in eyewitness memory (without the memory). Journal of Experimental Psychology. Applied, 14(4), 364–372.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Megreya, A., White, D., & Burton, A. M. (2011). The other race effect does not rely on memory: Evidence from a matching task. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 64, 1473–1483.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. O'Toole, A. J., Phillips, J. P., Jiang, F., Ayyad, J., Penard, N., & Abdi, H. (2007). Face recognition algorithms surpass humans matching faces over changes in illumination. IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence, 29(9), 1642–1646.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Sowden, P. T., Rose, D., & Davies, I. R. L. (2002). Perceptual learning of luminance contrast detection: Specific for spatial frequency and retinal location but not orientation. Vision Research, 42(10), 1249–1258.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Young, A. W., & Bruce, V. (2011). Understanding person perception. British Journal of Psychology, 102(4), 959–974.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Psychonomic Society, Inc. 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • David White
    • 1
  • Richard I. Kemp
    • 1
  • Rob Jenkins
    • 2
  • A. Mike Burton
    • 3
  1. 1.School of PsychologyUniversity of New South WalesSydneyAustralia
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of YorkYorkUK
  3. 3.School of PsychologyUniversity of AberdeenAberdeenUK

Personalised recommendations