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Article

The psychology of face construction: Giving evolution a helping hand

Citation
Frowd CD, Bruce V, Pitchford M, Jackson S, Hepton G, Greenall M, McIntyre AH & Hancock PJB (2011) The psychology of face construction: Giving evolution a helping hand, Applied Cognitive Psychology, 25 (2), pp. 195-203.

Abstract
Face construction by selecting individual facial features rarely produces recognisable images. We have been developing a system called EvoFIT that works by the repeated selection and breeding of complete faces. Here, we explored two techniques. The first blurred the external parts of the face, to help users focus on the important central facial region. The second, manipulated an evolved face using psychologically-useful „holistic‟ scales: age, masculinity, honesty, etc. Using face construction procedures that mirrored policework, a large benefit emerged for the holistic scales; the benefit of blurring accumulated over the construction process. Performance was best using both techniques: EvoFITs were correctly named 24.5% on average compared to 4.2% for faces constructed using a typical „feature‟ system. It is now possible, therefore, to evolve a fairly recognisable composite from a 2 day memory of a face, the norm for real witnesses. A plausible model to account for the findings is introduced.

Keywords
EvoFIT; Face Physiology; Face perception; Photomontage

Journal
Applied Cognitive Psychology: Volume 25, Issue 2

StatusPublished
Author(s)Frowd, Charlie D; Bruce, Vicki; Pitchford, Melanie; Jackson, Sam; Hepton, Gemma; Greenall, Maria; McIntyre, Alex H; Hancock, Peter J B
Publication date01/03/2011
Publication date online01/02/2010
URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/1893/3139
PublisherWiley-Blackwell
ISSN0888-4080
LanguageEnglish
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