Prosopagnosia and Face Recognition
Prosopagnosia is a condition where individuals with otherwise normal vision are able to see faces, but cannot recognize faces. A major study in Germany (Kennerknecht 2006) reported that a congenital (inherited) form of prosopagnosia occurred at a rate of 2.5% in a sample of 689 subjects. This study implies that the number of people who have problems with face recognition is much larger than previously assumed, and implies that many people with prosopagnosia have "found personal solutions" to overcome their deficits. By understanding how people with and without prosopagnosia complete face recognition tasks, we can determine the set of typical and atypical visual features that are robust for face recognition.
This project seeks to identify a set of visual features that will robustly recognize individuals in real-world settings (where lighting, pose and expression may vary) by working with Prosopagnosiacs (people who have prosopagnosia, or "face blindness"). These features, in addition to resulting in the design of assistive devices for individuals with atypical vision, will also enhance the human recognition performance in other applications such as homeland security, authentication, and combating identity theft. We will investigate the set of visual features employed by individuals with typical vision and individuals with prosopagnosia (face blindness).
CUbiC Technology and Research Initiative Fund