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2Poved F6rRelre seedN/V `IR"DP - 000 3 ,qv /f16 3n ke _ion at rced. 7 in the , .e over ecif is rcate, .4n t of, b1Y n to After the zher is "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 randomly composed face. The experiment was based upon a subset of the "Photo fit" Kit used by police to help identify the facial characteristics of a missing person or a criminal. Forty subjects participated, each contributing a minimum of four runs (16 trials). Subjects were presented with 4 target packs each containing 16 different Instances of a particular facial feature (eyes, nose, mouth and facial-outline with hair). The Instances for each element were grouped, so as to suggest different degrees of resemblance between them, and, hence, 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 array, allowing the subject to consciously choose a particular image using the computer "mouse". In the Timing psi task, the images were presented in a rapidly shifting sequence; here the subject could only choose when to stop the "image roulette" with the mouse. Once the subject had chosen all elements of the face, the program randomly selected an instance for each of the four elements, constructed the target face, and presented it to the subject. Results were evaluated through goodness-of-flt tests, comparing the obtained distribution of hits, for 5 different levels of scoring, against the expected distribution. The global test yielded a significant chi-square for the experimental condition (p=.013), and chance results for a simulation study. Further analyses, examining scoring under the two different task-modalities, yielded a significant chi-square for the Timing task modality alone (p=.006). 329 Approved For Release 2000/08/15: CIA-RDP96-00792R000701060001-3 Approved For Release 2000/08/15: CIA-RDP96-00792R000701060001-3 INTRODUCTION 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 targets 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- 330 Approved For Release 2000/08/15: CIA-RDP96-00792R000701060001-3 Approved For Release 2000/08/15: CIA-RDP96-00792R00070106 r Davies, recall tiona of face and recognition Elli. r ran 1975; Sergent e of eases, eyes, 1984). This kit contains a ry W d e reng o n thus mouths, jaws, a ver different allows an Intervieertto drawn y wide instances of to on tch" a_ approximate the face recalled facial mix and match" features, In by a witness, so as to our study, we selected outline a subset of facial for ech eyes, nose, mouth) features a feature, and and a small subset (face- We created a program passed these into of instances Instances, nnwhich can randoml the Computer. Then, and compose a face, The y mix pt to choose and match these most approximate the the facial characteristics task was td features of the com which would Despite certain superficial face. was not perfIcial similarities, quite analo thing, we used " g0US to Psychic however, this task Also, the pal normal" (rather than riminology, For one as subjects wouldkbe as "elementaristicil Special) subjects. than attempting to focusing upon facial n ature, insofar researchers Precognize the feeatures, rather important (e.g', E11Is, 1975; face as a whole. not facets of face Serpent, 1984) Some captured by e l eace Percept ion areho l i st i c9'gest tha t tarlstl re compensate somewhat fo approaches. and ato Provide to r this problem, we decIn order Feedback eremeal ant feedback ided not to Y once the foll?win9 each trial after all four s ntire face h but give element as be would have en still make their been composed Ci.e,5 least selections oneofe Though subjects the moment of featto ure perception; it feedback would at a time, at feedback Precognitive Informatloninvolve a holistic the back point, then it would orient the deCjves whole face rather from this th an Isolated featur?e.s Psi toward A mOCe important approach deviation from the ' was that the Psychic criminology in r human elements eXperimental context included,noneoof the task In real which lend meanie features of a life. Rather, it g and significance e i fictional face inV?lved to ptors or hlStor , one stripped of guessing the onal tar et_ y. To address any meaningful a ca ndoml g face some Identitis, We sought to from y selected name and Y, associatln glue the fiactliarge biography; these g it witd "meanie Pool of possibilities, were sub gfulness device The relevance derived sect scoring with the was to be ex of this biograph Placed by comparing Another y present vs. absent. address factor explored _ little the potential problem task rnodalIty", was doubt that, to different?f response meant to repelled by different degrees biases, There a Psi task faces (orfacjai we are attracted or Pos In whi l-1 ch subj ects a characteristics), In sibilities within Can freel factors could a target Y choose from facto easily drown Pack, such among leading People to choose out subtle aesthetic they dislike. As it heemed images they like psi information, avoided, as that this and avoid long those Possibilities as the subJect could not be completely which the we decided is free to choose subject could to add a s _ among the Approved For Release 2000 go/+w I GJA Dff~30O7 RA607QV60001-3 image. Approved For Release 2000/08/15: CIA-RDP96-00792R000701060001-3 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 Subjects 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. Hardware 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. Software 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. Run Immedlatly after the "booting" of the computer, this program served to verify that the pseudo-random function was indeed bein y `W6 ed RIb1eavetW00106M- CCdA RffiP9 0T$2 ' 001-3 Approved For Release 2000/08/15: CIA-RDP96-00792R000701060001-3 "Viaagea" Program: The Vlaggeo pcecogr it Ion teat, Wt i.tten by the first author, presents subjects with 4 graphic target packs, each containing 16 distinct instances of a facial element, and, on the basis of the subject's choices, progressively constructs a graphic face. Then, once the subject is satisfied with the face as constructed, the program uses the Amiga's pseudo-random function four times, selecting, for each facial element, one of 16 possible instances. Finally, the program calculates feedback scores (i.e., measures of the proximity between the subject-chosen and the randomly-chosen elements), stores the results, provides feedback (showing the target-face and the score), and offers the subject options to continue or quit. A slightly modified version of the program serves to collect control or "simulation" trials, in which no subject is 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 program's operation is given In the Target-preparation and Procedure sections. Target-preparation The Target pool was based upon a portion of the Penry Photo- fit Kit, kindly provided by the central police department of Paris (Ministere de l'interieur), In photocopy form. The kit Involves transparencies showing different male facial ele- ments (eyes, noses, mouths, etc.); these can be freely combined and mixed, and so as to produce a very wide range of possible male facial types. Four facial elements were used for this study: eyes, nose, mouth, and facial outline (showing hair, forehead, and jaw). To select from among the many instances provided, we used our subjective judgement and several criteria; for example, selection of as wide a range of characteristics as possible, for each facial element and avoidance of facial characteri- 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, so as to maximize definition and clarity. Then, for each element, we 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 (Two of these pages are illustrated in Figures 1 and 2). The 16 Instances of each page were arranged in a 4 x 4 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. "lots of hair"). Then, the 4 Instances of a fact A li'bv~edtFcilcReIeA e20#~/( 'e ear- a I '0b 701 A800 333 short hair, Approved For Release 2000/08/15: CIA-RDP96-00792R000701060001-3 Figure 1. Target pack for face-outline Figure 2. Target pack for Lips _Figure 3. Face with three elements selected fu' art 334 Approved For Release 2000/08/15: CIA-RDP96-00792R000701060001-3 Approved For Release 2000/08/15: CIA-RDP96-00792R000701060001- full hair and long-hair). Finally, within each row, 2 groups are distinguishable (e.g., In row D, D1 / D2 and D3 / D4). The idea behind this arrangment was to create a psi task which could allow for different degrees of psi -accuracy or -resolution - from vague feelings to detailed 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 temperament, 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 utilisation 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 gyp` 1r6VedPF6tERele 2000708/1 63 r5C 4WR9-QQ79$g~?b 10,~1'O 1-3 Approved For Release 2000/08/15: CIA-RDP96-00792R000701060001-3 "t.Io,oe' , '1LIPe", The program await the. subject's eeIeet.ion 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 biograhhy 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 process of face construction is automatic: placement of the feature chosen on the face depends not upon the subject, but 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 statements from the 20 categories of statements. The program Srovda6 - Releasec2000/08/'b6 CiCdA-RD296a QU92RB0017Q Ot'.3 I A Approved For Release 2000/08/15: CIA-RDP96-00792R000701060001-3 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 (*). The screen with the subject-chosen face allows for compa- risons with the target-face; it also shows the scores obtained for each of the four elements. These scores give subjects a numerical estimate of the choices to the target-instances. For eachim element,ththe possible ..scores are 0 (no relation between target and choice), 2 (half-page success), 4 (row success), success) and 16 (direct hit). Thus, the total scor8 (air epfor the run could range from 0 to a very unlikely 64 (direct hits on every trial). Subjects were asked to complete at least four runs (sixte trials), but were allowed to Oontribute additional runs, if so desired. Thus, following feedback they could either click on a Replay button, to initiate a new run, or, if they had completed 4 runs, click on a Stop button to close the Visages program and end the session. Simulation Runs: In order to ensure that the RND function of the Amiga operates correctly, and that there were no problems in the program's logic, we conducted a simulation study', based upon a slightly modified version of the Visages program. In this progam, the subject's scanning or timing guesses for each element were replaced by the generation of random numbers between 1-16. Thus, the Program ld construct a face on the basis of 4 random numbers, and wthenn a second, target-face on the basis of 4 more random numbers. Once launched, the simulation program ran automatically, until it completed 9 runs; it was then re-launched by the experimenter. This process continued until the number of runs accumulated equalled the total of experimental runs. * The screen with the biography text was Intended to examine the meaningfulness factor mentioned in the Introduction. From the first few sessions, subjects a - fused as to the role and purp PPeared to be con- biography seemed incongruent with ethe of the satemens; the statedtnaturetof the task-precognizing a randomly constructed repeated negative comments b face. Followin y menter realized that the biography was u of as, the expe for assessing meaningfulness not PPropriate for this factor from the stud and decided to drop assessment of directed subjects to click Fr onm tt het b point b y b h no l onged Practically no one did. g P Y button, and 337 Approved For Release 2000/08/15: CIA-RDP96-00792R000701060001-3 Approved For Release 2000/08/15: CIA-RDP96-00792R000701060001-3 Collectivly, the 40 participants contributed a total of 212 experimental runs (848 trials). Individuals' contribution to this database was quite uneven: 28 of the 40 participants completed just the minimum of 4 runs each, while the remai- ning 12 contributed between 5-14 runs. Using subjects' mean feedback score as an index of individual performance, we find that the average score for the group contributing 4 runs is 10.16, while for the group contributing more runs it is 9.18. A t-test for Independent means shows no difference between the two groups (t=.752, 38 df, ns). Figure 4, depic- ting mean feedback scores for all subjects, also shows that there are no consistent trends distinguishing the scores of the 28 subjects who contributed exactly 4 runs, from the 9 contributing 5-9 runs, and the 3 contributing 10-14 runs. The evaluation of overall results, utilizing the trial as unit, was based upon two goodness-of-fit tests - one for experimental and one for simulation data. These analyses examine whether the observed distribution of hits, for all scoring levels, conforms to the binomial expectation (the probability corresponding to each scoring level multiplied by the number of trials). The probabilities used to estimate expectation for each scoring level represent the likelihood of obtaining exactly (rather than "at least") a pair hit, a row hit, etc.; they thus allow each scoring level to be treated independently. The probabilities corresponding to each level of hitting are direct hit, 1/16; pair hit, 1/16; row hit, 1/8; half-page hit, 1/4; and miss, 1/2. (For example, in the facial-outline example cited earlier, with D2 as target, there Is exactly 1 way to obtain a direct hit, 1 way to obtain specifically a pair hit