Using detailed environmental recall to enhance facial-composite images

Perception, Cognition and Neuroscience (PCN) Research Group

The programme of research aims to improve the effectiveness of facial composites by recalling the environment in which a face was seen, which allows a witness to construct the face of an offender more effectively.

Cognitive Interviewing involves a set of techniques employed by the police to help eyewitnesses recall information about the crime they witnessed.  As part of an ongoing programme of research using procedures that emulate police practice as far as possible, we assess the potential benefit of recalling the environmental context (the “crime scene”) to the identification of composites constructed by eyewitnesses (a visual likeness of an offender’s face).  

Primary goals and objectives

  • Development of optimal eyewitness interviewing procedures for solving crime
  • Production of facial composites in a supervised environment
  • Optimisation of techniques that produce the most identifiable composite face