Tools for research on face perception and social stigma
Photo by Christopher Campbell on Unsplash
What is it about?
The “Face Image Meta-Database” (fIMDb) provides researchers with the tools to find the face images best suited to their research, with filters to locate databases with people of a varied racial and ethnic backgrounds and ages. A well-characterized database is also needed to support programmatic research into perceivers' attitudes, behaviors, and neural responses to anomalous faces. The “ChatLab Facial Anomaly Database” (CFAD) was constructed to fill this gap, with photographs of faces with visible differences of various types, etiologies, sizes, locations, and that depict individuals from various ethnic backgrounds and age groups. Both the fIMDb and CFAD are available from: https://cliffordworkman.com/resources/.
Why is it important?
Investigators increasingly need high quality face photographs that they can use in service of their scholarly pursuits—whether serving as experimental stimuli or to benchmark face recognition algorithms. Up to now, an index of known face databases, their features, and how to access them has not been available. This absence has had at least two negative repercussions: First, without alternatives, some researchers may have used face databases that are widely known but not optimal for their research. Second, a reliance on databases comprised only of young white faces will lead to science that isn't representative of all the people whose tax contributions, in many cases, make that research possible. Problems of representation in face databases are not restricted to race and ethnicity or age – there is a dearth of databases with faces that have visible differences (e.g., scars, port wine stains, and cleft lip and palate).
The following have contributed to this page: Dr Clifford Ian Workman