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Face Recognition, Identification, & Classification
People recognize faces after they have analyzed features that are associated with that face. In this case, a person’s facial features will be analyzed by looking at the relationship between known features. It should be known that for an individual to recognize specific objects there is need for proper information. This is mostly about parts of the object and how they are related to each other.
In a broad perspective, this process is known as first-order relational information. As much as this process is important, it is not enough for a person to recognize a face (Smith 2008, p. 13). This therefore implies that he or she needs more information than just the eyes for proper recognition.
Most notably, this information can be relayed through various mechanisms that will ultimately enhance recognition. As a matter of fact, people are able to recognize faces through the second-order relational information.
This is necessary because it is a process that involves comparisons. In this case, it is in relation to an analysis on what an average face is supposed to look like. The ability to recognize and know what an average face is supposed to look like occurs through experience. As time goes by, the information that an individual gains through experience ends up as the basis upon which a person uses to compare different faces.
All withstanding, this is the most important process that people use to recognize faces. The upright face has a unique pattern which means that faces are encoded as whole configurations (Smith 2008, p. 38).
In a broad perspective, the face is stored as a whole which is not the case with other objects that are supposed to be broken down into pieces before they can be recognized. This implies that if only a small part is displayed, it will be very difficult for identification. The fusiform face area is the one that is activated when an individual views a given face.
Concepts and Categories
Face recognition can be said to be different from object recognition because of various factors. Most notably, it is different because of the point of entry that is necessary for recognition. In this case, it should be known that the common point of entry is referred to as basic-level categorization. As much as this is a necessity, it is not enough for proper identification of faces.
This means that the basic level of recognition should be enhanced to guarantee identification that leads to recognition. For proper recognition of human faces, the point of entry is always at an individual level. After proper evaluation, it implies that objects can be recognized and discriminated upon.
This is mostly based on the parts of the object although it is different from faces that can be recognized holistically. When different objects are viewed, the face area is always lit up which enhances recognition of faces (Simmel 1971, p. 67). For instance, this area can be lit up when a bird expert recognizes birds. On the other hand, it should be known that face recognition is not an expertise.
Long-term memory and how it affects face recognition
As far as the process of long term memory is concerned, retrieval and encoding are very important. This means that the encoding process helps to encode special face features that are stored. In this case, it helps in the storage of images for long term sustainability because this is done permanently. As time goes by, it makes it easy for retrieval that is always important.
In the process, those images are supposed to be stored in the right way because information can be lost. It should be known that facial coding revolves around various stages (Kimmel 2005, p. 45). In the first stage of structural encoding, information is encoded and stored in the long-term memory.
This information enhances face recognitions systems that act as data banks in the stage of facial recognition. In a broad perspective, this information is very important because it helps in recognition of people.
For proper encoding, there are two processes that are involved. In this case, view centered description has always played an important role as far as representation of primary facial information is concerned. This information includes aspects like light intensity and contrast that are vital for recognition. Most of this information is influenced by the appearance of the face.
This can be termed as representation of the face that includes orientation and the size of the face. Earlier visual representation has always formed the basis upon which expression independent description is built on (Kimmel 2005, p. 83).
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This means that it corresponds to the abstract description of the face as far as its features are concerned. Facial features combined with ultimate recognition of the face are necessary for general recognition. In most cases, the description is based on common characteristics of the face.
Encoding influences face recognition in a broad way because there is matching of information whereby if they match recognition will take place. As far as recognition is concerned, information that is stored should match with characteristics that have been seen. When evaluated from an expression independent description point of view, there is comparison of codes.
This is done by the cognitive system that looks at codes that have been sent and codes that are stored. Codes in this case are stored by the face recognition unit. This implies that recognition can only occur if structural codes are able to match.
In this case, the target face and the stored face should be effectively looked at. Encoding therefore assists recognition by matching codes that are similar (Smith 2008, p. 92). On the other hand, retrieval is important for a long-term memory which enhances recognition.
Two possible errors
It should be known that face recognition is not a perfect process which implies that errors are bound to occur. Most notably, individuals might not be able to recognize themselves or might also experience misidentification. Individuals who might not be able to recognize themselves are referred to as prosopagnosics. Errors can be traced to the fusiform face area that is always responsible for recognition as far as specialization is concerned.
When an individual is not able to recognize faces, it might be because their fusiform face area is damaged (Smith 2008, p. 55). Unconscious transference is another major problem that has made individuals to be unable to recognize different faces.
This means that they can not correctly identify a face that they are always used to. In this case, it should be understood that these are common errors that can be encountered every now and then on different individuals.
There are errors where an individual can not tell the difference between a target face and a familiar face. A perfect example is where a witness might not be able to tell if he is looking at a criminal who robed somebody at a different time.
Kimmel, R. (2005). Three-dimensional face recognition. New Brunswick, N.J.: Transaction Publishers.
Simmel, G. (1971). The Metropolis and Mental Life. Chicago: Chicago University Press.
Smith, K. (2008). Face Recognition. Stanford: Stanford University Press.