Activity: Participating in or organising an event › Conference participation
Recent use of hyper-realistic silicone masks in criminal settings suggests that these masks are both effective in disguising identity and difficult to detect. In two separate studies we examined conditions where viewers detected the masks rather than accepting them as real, comparing British and Japanese participants. In Study 1, viewers were strikingly poor at distinguishing between real faces and hyper-realistic masks onscreen, even when they knew that masks were present. Study 2 shows that the task is also difficult when viewing live models outdoors, especially at long distance. Results show that British participants outperformed Japanese participants, suggesting that other race viewers have a disadvantage in their position to detect hyper-realistic masks. Our findings suggest that more targeted strategies—such as analysis of facial expression or facial speech—may be required if silicone masks are to be reliably detected, perhaps separately for own- and other race viewers.