Haig N D, 1986, "High-resolution facial feature saliency mapping" Perception 15(4) 373 – 386
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High-resolution facial feature saliency mapping
Nigel D Haig
Received 28 March 1986, in revised form 29 July 1986
Abstract. For recognition of a target there must be some form of comparison process between the image of that target and a stored representation of that target. In the case of faces there must be a very large number of such stored representations, yet human beings seem able to perform comparisons at phenomenal speed. It is possible that faces are memorised by fitting unusual features or combinations of features onto a bland prototypical face, and such a data-compression technique would help to explain our computational speed. If humans do indeed function in this fashion, it is necessary to ask just what are the features that distinguish one face from another, and also, what are the features that form the basic set of the prototypical face. The distributed apertures technique was further developed in an attempt to answer both questions. Four target faces, stored in an image-processing computer, were each divided up into 162 contiguous squares that could be displayed in their correct positions in any combination of 24 or fewer squares. Each observer was required to judge which of the four target faces was displayed during a 1 s presentation, and the proportion of correct responses for each individual square was computed. The resultant response distributions, displayed as brightness maps, give a vivid impression of the relative saliency of each feature square, both for the individual targets and for all of them combined. The results, while broadly confirming previous work, contain some very interesting and surprising details about the differences between the target faces.
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