David J Robertson

David J Robertson
University of Strathclyde · School of Psychological Sciences and Health

PhD

About

35
Publications
16,592
Reads
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589
Citations
Additional affiliations
August 2017 - present
University of Strathclyde
Position
  • Lecturer
January 2017 - August 2017
University of Strathclyde
Position
  • Teaching Associate
December 2014 - January 2017
The University of York
Position
  • PostDoc Position

Publications

Publications (35)
Preprint
Hyper-realistic silicone masks provide a viable route to identity fraud. Over the last decade, more than 40 known criminal acts have been committed by perpetrators using this type of disguise. With the increasing availability and bespoke sophistication of these masks, research must now focus on ways to enhance their detection. In this study, we inv...
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[This corrects the article DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0246757.].
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Background and aims: Social media use has become a ubiquitous part of society, with 3.8 billion users worldwide. While research has shown that there are positive aspects to social media engagement (e.g. feelings of social connectedness and wellbeing), much of the focus has been on the negative mental health outcomes which are associated with exces...
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The proliferation of fake news on social media is now a matter of considerable public and governmental concern. In 2016, the UK EU referendum and the US Presidential election were both marked by social media misinformation campaigns, which have subsequently reduced trust in democratic processes. More recently, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the acce...
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Individual differences in face identification ability range from prosopagnosia to super‐recognition. The current study examined whether face identification ability predicts voice identification ability (participants: N = 529). Superior‐face‐identifiers (exceptional at face memory and matching), superior‐face‐recognisers (exceptional at face memory...
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Matching unfamiliar faces is highly error‐prone, and most studies highlight the implications for real‐world ID‐checking. Here we study a particular instance of ID‐checking: proof of age for buying restricted goods such as alcohol. In this case, checkers must establish that an identity document is carried by its legitimate owner (i.e., that the ID p...
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Accurate identity judgements are critical in ensuring that suspects can be apprehended by law enforcement and national security agencies, and that identity fraud attacks do not go undetected at border control points. Research has shown that typical human observers are poor at facial recognition in these contexts. However, there is now a decade’s wo...
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Hyper-realistic face masks have been used as disguises in at least one border crossing and in numerous criminal cases. Experimental tests using these masks have shown that viewers accept them as real faces under a range of conditions. Here, we tested mask detection in a live identity verification task. Fifty-four visitors at the London Science Muse...
Preprint
Full-text available
Individual differences in face identification ability range from prosopagnosia to super-recognition. The current study examined whether face identification ability predicts voice identification ability (participants: N = 529). Superior-face-identifiers (exceptional at face memory and matching), superior-face-recognisers (exceptional at face memory...
Article
Full-text available
The accurate identification of an unfamiliar individual from a face photo is a critical factor in several applied situations (e.g. border control). Despite this, matching faces to photographic ID is highly prone to error. In lieu of effective training measures which could reduce face matching errors, the selection of ‘super‐recognisers’ (SRs) provi...
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The scientific study of facial identification in Psychology is of practical relevance to security operations and police investigations in which establishing the identity of an unfamiliar person is of critical importance. At border control checkpoints, for example, officials compare the face of each traveler to their corresponding passport photograp...
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Dementia has been declared a Global Challenge [1]. However, strategies to tackle it are far from global. Epidemiological forecasts are more alarming for low and middle-income countries (LMIC) than for high-income countries (HIC), and yet provisions to support the former are scarce and, in some cases, as we discuss below, impractical. New initiative...
Article
Chronic insomnia is associated with subjective daytime cognitive dysfunction, but objective corroborative data are often lacking. In this study, we use Perceptual Load Theory to objectively assess distractibility in participants with insomnia (N = 23) compared with age- and sex-matched controls (N = 23). Following overnight supervised sleep observa...
Article
Here, David Robertson and Markus Bindemann respond to a recent BJP Target Article on ‘super‐recognisers’ (SRs). They outline the need to consider human factors that could influence SR performance after selection and the need for a co‐ordinated effort to ensure best practice in the implementation of SRs in applied contexts.
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Forgetting someone's name is a common failure of memory, and often occurs despite being able to recognise that person's face. This gives rise to the widespread view that memory for names is generally worse than memory for faces. However, this everyday error confounds stimulus class (faces vs. names) with memory task: recognition versus recall. Here...
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Our reliance on face photos for identity verification is at odds with extensive research which shows that matching pairs of unfamiliar faces is highly prone to error. This process can therefore be exploited by identity fraudsters seeking to deceive ID checkers (e.g., using a stolen passport which contains an image of a similar looking individual to...
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We investigated the relationships between individual differences in different aspects of face-identity processing, using the Glasgow Face Matching Test (GFMT) as a measure of unfamiliar face perception, the Cambridge Face Memory Test (CFMT) as a measure of new face learning, and the Before They Were Famous task (BTWF) as a measure of familiar face...
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Unfamiliar face recognition, the visual identification of a person with whom you are unfamiliar, is commonly utilized in se- curity settings. However, our continued reliance on unfamiliar face recognition for identity verification is not supported by findings from psychological science [1]. Research has shown that whether it be for face photos or l...
Article
We describe three experiments in which viewers complete face detection tasks as well as standard measures of unfamiliar face identification. In the first two studies, participants viewed pareidolic images of objects (Experiment 1) or cloud scenes (Experiment 2), and their propensity to see faces in these scenes was measured. In neither case is perf...
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The human face recognition system is able to recognize new and highly varied instances of people we are familiar with. Unfamiliar face recognition, however, has been shown to be a difficult task and one that is highly prone to error. [1] Despite this, agencies rely on unfamiliar face recognition in areas that are critical to our security. [2] For e...
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Matching unfamiliar faces is known to be difficult, and this can give an opportunity to those engaged in identity fraud. Here we examine a relatively new form of fraud, the use of photo-ID containing a graphical morph between two faces. Such a document may look sufficiently like two people to serve as ID for both. We present two experiments with hu...
Data
Individual subject scores for each of the three experiments. (XLSX)
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A person’s ability to recognize familiar faces across a wide range of viewing conditions is one of the most impressive facets of human cognition. As shown in Figure 1, it is easy to conclude, for a known individual, that each image in the set shows the same person (British Prime Minister David Cameron), despite a wide range of variation in viewing...
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http://theconversation.com/could-super-recognisers-be-the-latest-weapon-in-the-war-on-terror-56772
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Face recognition is used to prove identity across a wide variety of settings. Despite this, research consistently shows that people are typically rather poor at matching faces to photos. Some professional groups, such as police and passport officers, have been shown to perform just as poorly as the general public on standard tests of face recogniti...
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Facial recognition technology has been widely used by the military for identity confirmation and surveillance. It is a unique biometric system because there is no contact necessary to gather images, unlike fingerprinting. Facial recognition, which is also used as a security feature on smartphones and computers, can be improved to more accurately id...
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Our recognition of familiar faces is excellent, and generalises across viewing conditions. However, unfamiliar face recognition is much poorer. For this reason, automatic face recognition systems might benefit from incorporating the advantages of familiarity. Here we put this to the test using the face verification system available on a popular sma...
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Identity verification at passport control, in policing, and in retail stores is most often achieved by matching an individual's face to a photographic identity document. Despite this, recent research has shown that unfamiliar face recognition is a difficult task, and one which is highly prone to error. In this article, David Robertson, Russ Middlet...
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Objective: Increased vulnerability to extraneous distraction is a key symptom of Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), which may have particularly disruptive consequences. Here we apply Load Theory of attention to increase understanding of this symptom, and to explore a potential method for ameliorating it. Previous research in nonclini...
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The structural and functional architecture of the human brain is characterized by considerable variability, which has consequences for visual perception. However, the neurophysiological events mediating the relationship between interindividual differences in cortical surface area and visual perception have, until now, remained unknown. Here, we sho...

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