The utility of multiple synthesized views in the recognition of unfamiliar faces

Scott P. Jones, Dominic M. Dwyer, Michael B. Lewis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
123 Downloads (Pure)


The ability to recognize an unfamiliar individual on the basis of prior exposure to a photograph is notoriously poor and prone to errors, but recognition accuracy is improved when multiple photographs are available. In applied situations, when only limited real images are available (e.g., from a mugshot or CCTV image), the generation of new images might provide a technological prosthesis for otherwise fallible human recognition. We report two experiments examining the effects of providing computer-generated additional views of a target face. In Experiment 1, provision of computer-generated views supported better target face recognition than exposure to the target image alone and equivalent performance to that for exposure of multiple photograph views. Experiment 2 replicated the advantage of providing generated views, but also indicated an advantage for multiple viewings of the single target photograph. These results strengthen the claim that identifying a target face can be improved by providing multiple synthesized views based on a single target image. In addition, our results suggest that the degree of advantage provided by synthesized views may be affected by the quality of synthesized material.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages13
JournalThe Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology
Early online date24 Mar 2016
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 24 Mar 2016


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