Nationalgeographic.co.id-Almost every smartphone today has a sophisticated facial recognition system embedded in it. But even the ‘smart’ of the artificial facial recognition system have trouble recognizing a person when he or she wears glasses or changes her hair.
This ‘smart’ system is pale compared to a two -year -old human baby who can recognize his mother’s face consistently, no matter what his clothes or hair. Therefore, artificial human face recognition has become an interesting subject for those who develop artificial intelligence systems.
One of the most elusive questions in the field of understanding human facial recognition is how humans can distinguish between characters twin identical (those who look the same), have the same genetic material, and cannot be distinguished by traditional methods of personal identification, such as DNA testing. or blood tests.
Solving this mystery will not only help us develop biometric techniques that help distinguish identical twins, but it will also make the algorithm very specific so that the probability of an error in identifying a person will be very low.
How do humans recognize faces?
We must briefly understand how human facial recognition works in order to understand how we distinguish identical twins.
Part of the visual object identification system in our brain is known to specialize in identifying human faces. Neurons in this area specialize in a type of ‘holistic processing’, identifying the entire face as a single item, and as opposed to identifying facial features separately and then gathering information to recognize faces.
This is what makes this module efficient and fast. This area, located at the bottom of the temporal lobe (the lobe just behind your ear), is aptly called the “fusiform area of the face.”
How do we know this? When people’s brains were scanned while they were looking at a random object as opposed to a face, it could be seen that facial fusiform neurons fire selectively for only facial areas, proving their specialization. Interestingly, recent experiments on humans who are blind from birth have shown that your brain does not need to have visual experience to develop this “face module.”
Face identification by touch, activates the same fusiform region in blind individuals. It has revolutionized our understanding of human facial recognition, and dismantled the idea that this brain region is inherently ‘visual’.
Although traditionally facial recognition was known to be handled entirely by fusiform facial areas, more recent research has shifted from this conservative notion of a single region to a hierarchical network of multiple brain regions. These include brain regions that recognize emotions and facial expressions to decode meaning, remember personal information associated with familiar faces, learn new faces, recognize old faces, etc.
Therefore, facial recognition in humans is now understood to be much more complex than previously thought.
Given the complexity of the facial recognition system in humans, it is not surprising that we can distinguish very accurately, even between identical twins!
Can humans tell the difference between identical twins?
Scientists aren’t quite sure that humans have a reliable capacity to distinguish between identical twins, so of course, the first question they’re trying to answer is are we as good at it as we believe, and if so, how?
In a 2011 study, scientists presented a pair of human faces to participants and asked them whether the faces belonged to the same person or a set of identical twins. The participants answered on a face certainty scale of the same person, or two identical twins. After the task, they were also asked what features helped them make a decision.
The findings of this study reveal something very intuitive. The participants who showed remarkably correct responses in distinguishing between identical twins reported using cues such as moles, scars, and freckles! Others who use facial features, such as eyes, nose, and lips, report lower accuracy.
Another major finding of the study was that when given an indefinite amount of time to respond, participants were able to distinguish twins more accurately. The scientists concluded that with more time, humans could pick up subtle differences in local facial features to accurately make decisions about recognizing twin faces.
Can humans tell the difference between identical twins? Yes, with enough time and with specific aids, like freckles and moles, we definitely can!
How do identical twins recognize themselves?
Perhaps the best person to answer the question of how to recognize twin faces is probably the twins themselves!
Surprisingly, in a recent study of identical twins’ ability to recognize their own faces, it was revealed that they themselves have a problem with it! Monozygotic twins show a lack of superiority in distinguishing their faces from their twins.
Each individual showed superiority in identifying their face from others, but this was not found in identical twins.
Interestingly, this lack of ‘self-benefit’ seems to hinge on the twins’ own beliefs about their physical resemblance. This means that twins who believe they are less similar to each other show more ‘self-advantage’ in recognizing their faces.
The study also reported an association between the twins’ psychological ‘attachment style’ and their facial recognition abilities. These findings shed light on the interactions between our psychology, beliefs, and facial recognition abilities.