Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Eye of the Brain

Do you really know what your Facebook and Instagram photos might actually show? If you’re doing something you want to keep secret, you might want to think again, at least before you take photographs. And there are, naturally, some forensic implications. A fascinating research study by Dr. Rob Jenkins at the University of York, Department of Psychology, was recently published in PLOS ONE (and later summarized by Kurzweil). It showed how reflected hidden faces in photographs can be revealed in the pupil of one’s eye. “The pupil of the eye is like a black mirror,” said Jenkins. “To enhance the image, you have to zoom in and adjust the contrast. A face image that is recovered from a reflection in the subject’s eye is about 30,000 times smaller than the subject’s face.” (Technically, the image is reflected by the cornea.) Interesting. Hmmm.

 Rob Jenkins, Christie Kerr, Identifiable Images of Bystanders Extracted from Corneal Reflections, PLOS ONE, 2013, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0083325 (open access)

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