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' I Approved For Release 2000/08/11 : CIA-RDP96-007928000700610002-2 "VISAGES": A COMPUTER-BASED TEST OF FACE PRECOGNITION MARIO VARVOGLIS1& MICHEL-ANGE AMORIM LABORATOIRE DE RECHERCHE SUR LES INTERACTIONS PSI A computer-based psi experiment was conducted to explore whether subjects could precogniZe the features of a random] randomly composed face. The experiment was based upon a subset of the Photo fit" Kit used by characteristics of a misinice to help identify the facial s subjects participated, each contr butinr a criminal. Ft runs (16 trials), g minimum of f foour r Subjects were presented with 4 tar et 16 different Instances of a g packs each containing nose, mouth and facial-outliner with hair). ThefInstancesyfor each element were grouped, so as to degrees of resemblance between them, and, heng e, between the subject's choice and the target. There were two task-modalities. In the Scanning psi task instances were arranged as a 4 x 4 Image arra subject to consciously choose a Y. allowing the computer "mouse". In the Timin g particular image using the presented in a rapidly shiftin psi task, the images were could only choose when to sto g sequence; here the subject mouse. Once the subject had chosen all elementstof"thetface, the program randomly selected an Instance for each of the four elements, constructed the target face, and r to the subject, presented it Results were evaluated through comparing the obtained distribution ofgoodn hits,sfor 5 different levels of scoring, against the expected distribution. The test yielded a significant chi-square for experimental condition (p_,015) simulation stud and chance results fort the Y. Further analyses, examining scoring under the two different task-modalities, chi-square for the Timing task modaliyielded lone a( signifiucant p=.006), 329 Approved For Release 2000/08/11 : CIA-RDP96-00792R000700610002-2 Approved For Release 2000/08/11 : CIA-RDP96-00792R000700610002-2 The possibility of applied parapsychological research has been receiving considerable attention In recent years, both In the U.S. (Agor, 1984; Harary, Targ and White, 1985; Mishlove, 1986; Morris, 1986) and In Europe (Amorim, In press). An application which seems to hold particular promise Is the use of psi to help locate missing persons or identify criminals. A number of popular or semi-popular accounts have referred to Instances In which psychics helped the police, but little has been done by way of experimental research. One of the few systematic investigations in this area is reported by Reiser et al (1979) who presented 12 psychics with sealed envelopes containing Information on two solved and two unsolved crimes. According to the authors, the elicited "psychic Impressions" offered little support for the claim that psychics could contribute Information necessary for the resolution of crimes. However, in their book "Psychic Criminology", Hibbard & Worring (1982) cite a number of cases resolved with the help of psychics, and criticize the Reiser et al approach as being Insensitive to psychological and interpersonal factors. Osis (1984) also cites numerous cases resolved with the help of psychics, and emphasizes the difficulties involved in attempting to address this topic In laboratory contexts. It is clear that the motivational characteristics of real- life situations cannot be reproduced In the artificiality of laboratory contexts. On the; other hand, even If it Is impos- sible to recreate the motivational dynamics of real-life psychic criminology, laboratory experimentation could explore certain facets of this area. One such facet is the Identification of an Individual. In many crimes, police rely upon eyewitnesses to try.:.to reconstruct the facial characte- ristics of the criminal. However, witnesses may not be avai- lable, or may be unreliable. Can "psychic witnesses" be reliably used to Identify the facial characteristics of an unknown person? The exploration of facial characteristics as psi targetd is also Interesting in and of Itself, Independently of any Immediate applications. Our perception of the face appears to be a very basic process In human beings; like language, it may constitute an Inborn, "hardwired" function, rather than being an acquired capacity. Could the fact that we are "primed" toward face-recognition translate Into a special sensitivity toward face -precognition or -clairvoyance? If experimental data were to indicate that faces constitute unusually good psi targets, then this would lend some credence to the Idea that psi capacities are tied in to basic neurophysiological_and cognitive functions. The current study, then, was conceived as a preliminary step In exploring the use of faces as psi-targets. Specifically, we explored "face precognition" through a computer-based version of the "Photo-fit" Kit, employed by police to Inter- rogate eyewitnesses, and explored in a number of investiga- Approved For Release 2000/08/11 : CI"DP96-00792R000700610002-2 Approved For Release 2000/08/11 : CIA-RDP96-00792R000700610002-2 would orient the person's psi toward whole face, rather than an Isolated feature. tions of face recall and recognition (e.g., Ellis, Sheperd & Davies, 1975; Sergent, 1984). This kit contains a very wide range of noses, eyes, mouths, jaws, etc., drawn on transpa- rencies; It thus allows an Interviewer to "mix and match" different instances of facial features, so as to approximate the face recalled by a witness. _n our study, we selected a subset-of facial features (face- outline, eyes, nose, mouth) and a small subset of Instances for each feature, and passed these into the computer, Then, we created a program which can randomly mix and match these instances, and compose a face. The subject's task was to attempt to choose the facial characteristics which would r.ost approximate the features of the computer-chosen face. :respite certain superficial similarities, however, this task -;as not quite analogous to psychic criminology. For one thing, we used "normal" (rather than special) subjects. =_:so, the psi task was "elementaristic" in nature, insofar as subjects would be focusing upon facial features, rather :-an attempting to precognize the face as a whole. Some researchers (e.g., Ellis, 1975; Sergent, 1984) suggest that octant facets of face perception are holistic, and are ..st captured by elementaristic approaches. In order to compensate somewhat for this problem, we decided not to provide "piecemeal" feedback following each trial, but give feedback only once the entire face has been composed (i.e., after all four elements have been chosen). Though subjects o~:d still make their selections one feature at a time, at :east the moment of feedback would involve a holistic =arception; If precognitive Information derives from this feedback point then it more important deviation from psychic crimi 1 Approved FO r Release-Z00U/031I3 ?A EW196-(*-MR0W700&1 02-2 W e sub,~ect is free to choose among the "I' bilities, we decided to add a psi-task modalit In the ub Le t c ='=poach, was that the experimental context Included,noneoof human elements which lend meaning and significance to =`e task In real life. Rather, It Involved guessing the features of a fictional face, one stripped of any meaningful cescriptors or history. To address this, we sought to give t`e fictional target-face some Identity, associating it with randomly selected name and biography; these were derived =rte a large pool of possibilities. The relevance of this =eaningfulness" device was to be explored by comparing fi-:;ect scoring with the biography present vs. absent. '=,c=her factor explored, "psi - task modality", was meant to 4.: ess the potential problem of response biases. There is %' :e doubt that, to different degrees, we are attracted or re:led by different faces (or facial characteristics). In d =si task in which subjects can freely choose from among 4= possibilities within a target `"cars could easily drown out subtlek~ such aesthetic `e ac ng people to choose Images they like psi Information, a those t`~,edislike. As It seemed that this could not be completely Arc- Zed as l on as 4- 1, This second modality was a "timing" psi task, demanding of the the subject only a decision as to when to stop a rapidly changing "Image roulette containing all possibilities. Thus, there were two task-modalities: one based upon the implicit question "when is the target passing by" (the timing task), the other based upon the question "where Is the target", and Involving the usual scanning of possibi- lities in order to make a choice (the scanning task). METHOD The subjects of this study were 35 female and 5 male volunteers, ranging In age from 19 to 59 years old. Thirty four of these participants'- came to the laboratory following an article In a popular woman's magazine, which presented the laboratory's computer-based psi research. The remaining 6 subjects were either acquaintances, or had heard about the laboratory through acquaintances. Personal and psychological data on all subjects were collected using french versions of the Personal Inventory Form (PIF) and the Myers-Briggs-Type- Inventory (MBTI); these data have not yet been analyzed. The experiment was run using an Amiga 1000 with a color monitor, two disk-drives, a 2-megabyte random-access memory extension, and a "mouse" for subject inputs. The transfer of Photo-fit images into the computer was accomplished using a surveillance camera and an Interface which permits the "digitization" of video inputs. The program controlling the present experiment was based upon a compiler-language named "The Director", similar to BASIC, but explicitly oriented toward graphics- and sound- manipulations. Pseudo-Random function: The random numbers for the program are generated by the Director language's pseudo-random function, reseeded every cycle by the Amiga clock (read in in micro-seconds). A "Cyclic Redundancy Check" scheme scrambles the clock values and ensures the adequacy of the random distribution. In a personal communication, the creator of the Director language stated that tests of the random function have shown that it yields the expected range and frequency of values. While no detailed assessment of the random function was undertaken by the experimenter, a one- line program was written to at least ensure that the function was reseeded each ~~time time. Rugn~ imm-medi at ley, after the Ap acq'~6496r ~ ue 96 226A'6 J 9 ct7ttani-R1W"~ nd'ee9 ye1 ng0~1 se'eoed, yielding different number sequences each time It was run. 332. Approved For Release 2000/08/11 CIA-RDP96-00792R000700610002-2 1' V1 sagee" program: The the Vl sagr pt c cry ri i t o first author, presents subjects with n 4t; graphic ,cI,t;en by packs, each containing 16 distinct Instances of a facial element, and, on the basis of the subject's choices, Progressively constructs a graphic face. subject Is satisfied with the face as conThen, onc the structed, the program uses the Amiga's pseudo-random function four times, selecting, for each facial element, one of 16 instances measures o the program calculates feedback scores and the random! Proximity between the subject-chosen provides feedbacky (sh wing ,thee target-facees andth the rsco ore) e) , and offers the subject options to continue or sc, quit. A slightly modified version of the control or "simulation" trials, 1pram no wh the no ssubjectleis present. The program essentially creates two faces, on the basis of two sets of random numbers; the first set substi- tutes for the subject's guesses, while the second defines the target face as described above. A more detailed description of the given I n the Target-preparation and Pro edure scpe nsl.on i s Target-preparation The Target pool was based upon a fit Kit, kindly provided by Portion of the Penry Photo- the tal olic of Paris (MInistere de l'Interie ur)Ceinrphotocopy form. tmeThent kit involves transparencies showing different male facial ele- ments (eyes, noses, mouths, etc.); combined and mixed, and so as to these can be freely of possible male facial t produce a very wide range Ypes. Four facial elements were used for this study: mouth, and facial outline (showing hair, forehead yand nawe. To select from among the many instances jaw). pro our subjective judgement and several criteriav;ided, we p le, selection of as wide a range of characteristics aspo ssmb, for each facial element and avoidance of facial charracteri- stics which are too striking or weird. We then passed this subset of photo-fit images Into the computer through a "digitization" process, and each digitized Image was treated with diverse computer graphic tools, definition and clarity. Then, for each element, twe selected 16 different Instances (I.e., sixteen noses, sixteen mouths, etc.), and arranged these images into 4 computer bit-map screens or "pageS", which would serve as target packs these pages are Illustrated in Figures 1 and 2)s (Two The 16 instances of each page were arranged In a array, images being grouped according to different levels of resemblance between them. Taking Figure 1 as an example, we see that the top two rows are distinguishable from the bottom two ("little hair" vs. of hair"). }Then, the 4 Instances of a facial element ,1p d Approve ~F?8~- F ~fL sc~ 006i> 1~& : _R4pO& 'd "~t~0(i 0061!6?02-2 333 a a s opt hair, Approved For Release 2000/08/11 : CIA-RDP96-00792R000700610002-2 Figure 1. 'target pack for face-outline Figure 3. Face with three elements selected Approved For Release 2000/08/11: CIA-R96-00792R000700610002-2 Approved For Release 2000/08/11 : CIA-RDP96-00792R000700610002-2 full hair and long-hair). Finally, within each row, 2 are distinguishable (e.g., In row D, D1 / D2 and D3 / Dgrups 4). The Idea behind this arrangment was to create a which could allow for different degrees of psi task psi -accurac -resolution - from vague feelings to detail ed Information. The scoring scheme, accordingly, was meant to reflect dif- ferent degrees of resemblance between subjects' choices and the target image. For example, let us assume that the target for facial-outline were D2. Selection of any instance within row C - the other row of the same half-page - Implies having correctly identified that the target-face generally has "lots of hair"; this would be a "half-page" hit. Selecting D3 or D4 - the other pair on the same row, or a "row" hit - implies having identified the target face as having specifi- cally long hair. Selecting D1, the other member of the pair, would be a "pair" hit - whereby the subject has found the instance which most resembles the actual target. Selecting D2, of course, is a direct hit. As mentioned in the Introduction, the target face was accompanied by a name and, in half the trials, a biography. The names were drawn from a file containing 80 names com- monly found in France. The biography was drawn from a second file, containing 200 statements, organized Into 10 theme- related groups (sports and leisure, living quarters, child- hood and education, mood and tenhperament, social life, para- normal experiences, reactions to world events, beliefs and philosophy, favorite sayings, health). Procedure Upon arrival at the laboratory and preliminary exchanges, the subject was placed in front of the Amiga, and Instructed on the utilisatlon of the mouse. The subject then took computer-based (French) versions of the PRL Personal Inventory Form (PIF) and the Myers-Briggs-Type-Inventory (MBTI). Following feedback on the MBTI, the subject was switched to the Apple-based computer-RNG test "Volition". Then, after a minimum of two Volition runs, the subject was brought back to the Amiga, for the Visages precognition test; the experimenter remained present throughout the Visages session. The subject was told that, unlike Volition, the Visages test was geared toward receptive psi. It was explained that the computer would create a face, randomly selecting instances for the four facial elements; the person was asked to use their intuition to guess which instances of each element would be selected by the computer. It was emphasized that the computer would not select those Instances on the basis of any aesthetic criteria, but on the basis of random decisions. The run, consisting of four trials (one for each facial element), begins with the presentation of a Menu on the monitor screen, naming the four elements as "Hair" " Approved For Release 2000/08/1 i~5CIA-RDP96-00792R000'00 1bb02-2 Approved For Release 2000/08/11 : CIA-RDP96-00792R000700610002-2 "lio e" , 'Lips'', The program awaits the subject's selection of one of these, using the mouse. (For the first run, the experimenter encouraged the subject to start with face- outline, and progressively fill in the other elements of the face). Once an element Is selected, the computer presents the subject with the target pack, i.e., the 16 Instances of that element. Depending on the psi-task modality, the target-pack is presented in one of two different ways. In the scanning condition, all 16 possibilities are present on the screen simultaneously, arranged in the 4x4 array described above; the person uses the mouse to place the cursor over one of these 16 instances and then "clicks" to select it. In the timing condition, only one of the 16 instances Is visible on the screeen at any moment; the Images succeed each other very rapidly in a random sequence (giving the impression of a nose changing shape, a mouth talking, etc.), and selection is made by clicking on the mouse and stopping the "image roulette" at some particular image. The image actually selected, however, is not the one last seen by the subject, but rather one which is randomly generated just after mouse input; irrespective of how fast their reaction time might be, subjects cannot consciously select a particular target. The order of task presentation, fixed across subjects, was based upon a predetermined schedule allowing for different permutations of the biog_rahpy and task-modality variables. The first four runs were scanning/biography, scanning/no biography, timing/biography, timing/no biography. In both scanning and timing modes, the specific instance chosen by the person is immediately added to those previously selected. Thus, as subjects proceed through the four facial elements and select a particular face-outline, set of eyes, nose, and mouth, they see the face being constructed. (Figure 3 Illustrates a face with three features already chosen and lips not yet selected). The on construction rface depends not upon the placement but feature chosen face upon predefined coordinates. Following the subject's selection of all four elements, and thus the completion of the face, the individual Is presented with options 5:"Review Face", and 6:"See target". Option 5 allows subjects to review the face constructed, In case they've changed their mind about a particular selection (in which case, they can re-initiate the selection process by clicking on the corresponding number In the Menu). Option number 6, once clicked, launches the construction of the target face. The program generates four random numbers, between 1 and 16, each corresponding to a particular instance of the four features. The program also randomly selects a name out of the name-file, and, In the "biography" condition, constructs a biography by randomly selecting 6 Approved W@agec2u0 881 ctl PP6` Q 2gV*AT 0 "gram then stores all results on a336 Approved For Release 2000/08/11 : CIA-RDP96-00792R000700610002-2 the target face on the screen, along with a name, a graphic "button" for re-viewing the subject-chosen face, and another button for reading the biography