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Eye see through you! Eye tracking unmasks concealed face recognition despite countermeasures

Cognitive research: principles and implications | 8 Aug 2019

AE Millen and PJB Hancock
Abstract
Criminal associates such as terrorist members are likely to deny knowing members of their network when questioned by police. Eye tracking research suggests that lies about familiar faces can be detected by distinct markers of recognition (e.g. fewer fixations and longer fixation durations) across multiple eye fixation parameters. However, the effect of explicit eye movement strategies to concealed recognition on such markers has not been examined. Our aim was to assess the impact of fixed-sequence eye movement strategies (across the forehead, ears, eyes, nose, mouth and chin) on markers of familiar face recognition. Participants were assigned to one of two groups: a standard guilty group who were simply instructed to conceal knowledge but with no specific instructions on how to do so; and a countermeasures group who were instructed to look at every familiar and unfamiliar face in the same way by executing a consistent sequence of fixations.
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