Professor Dame Vicki Bruce FBA, Professor of Psychology, Newcastle University
‘Facts and fallacies about faces: Forensic implications’
Recorded at the British Academy Soirée, Tuesday 28 June 2016
Faces are important to personal and institutional identity, and recent research by psychologists and neuroscientists has revealed complex and specialised neural areas that are involved in extracting meanings from faces. Most of us can recognise huge numbers of faces of friends, family and celebrities effortlessly. Yet over 70% of wrongful convictions of people exonerated in the USA ‘Innocence Project’ involved erroneous eyewitness testimony. And we are surprisingly bad at matching images of unfamiliar faces even when there is no requirement to remember them. Dame Vicki Bruce describes how we can resolve the paradox of face memory and matching, and suggest implications for the use of face images in criminal investigations.