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Face recognition in pictures is affected by perspective transformation but not by the centre of projection

Liu, Chang Hong; Ward, James


Chang Hong Liu

James Ward


Recognition of unfamiliar faces is susceptible to image differences caused by angular sizes subtended from the face to the camera. Research on perception of cubes suggests that apparent distortions of a shape due to large camera angle are correctable by placing the observer at the centre of projection, especially when visibility of the picture surface is low (Yang and Kubovy, 1999 Perception & Psychophyics 61 456-467). To explore the implication of this finding for face perception, observers performed recognition and matching tasks where face images with reduced visibility of picture surface were shown with observers either at the centre of projection or at other viewpoints. The results show that, unlike perception of cubes, the effect of perspective transformation on face recognition is largely unaffected by the centre of projection. Furthermore, the use of perspective cues is not affected by textured surfaces. The limitation of perspective in restoring 3-D information of faces suggests a stronger role for image-based, rather than model-based, processes in recognition of unfamiliar faces.


Liu, C. H., & Ward, J. (2006). Face recognition in pictures is affected by perspective transformation but not by the centre of projection. Perception, 35(12), (1637-1650). doi:10.1068/p5545. ISSN 0301-0066

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 31, 2006
Publication Date 2006-12
Publicly Available Date
Print ISSN 0301-0066
Electronic ISSN 1468-4233
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 35
Issue 12
Pages 1637-1650
Keywords face recognition; perspective transformation; centre of projection; three dimensional
Public URL