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Changing Faces

Updated Friday, 9th April 2010

Cognitive psychologist Graham Pike contributed to the development of EFIT-V, a tool now being used to produce images of criminal suspects at very short notice at crime scenes. In this video from The Open University YouTube channel we see EFIT technology changing faces.

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Graham Pike, Researcher, Forensic Imaging

The human mind sees faces everywhere.  They are very important to our societies.  We need to be able to recognise each other, be able to tell who’s a stranger, who our friends are.  My background is in psychology, particularly cognitive psychology.  I’m fascinated by the way that the human mind works, how we can remember information, remember events, remember people.  If you think about when you see face recognition on the television or in newspapers it tends to be to do with police investigations.  Cognitive psychologists have discovered that humans don’t recognise faces by looking at individual features.

One of the driving things for myself and my colleagues was to produce a much better match for human cognition.  The result of this collaborative project is a new facial compositing system, which has been marketed internationally and which is currently in use by several UK police forces.  Because you’re always working with a full face the system produces a good likeness far far more quickly, leading to a significant increase in the amount of intelligence they can gather about crime. 







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