Tiny eye movements reveal if suspect is lying about recognition

Researchers may soon be able to tell whether a suspect is lying about recognising someone they know, according to a study from the University of Portsmouth.

Using , academics from the International Centre for Research in Forensic Psychology, found that people’s eyes moved in a different pattern when looking at faces they recognised.

Lead author, Ailsa Millen, said: “Criminal accomplices often deny that they know other members in their networks.  However, if a co-conspirator denies recognition in this way, their when viewing photos of those suspects, may reveal this type of lie.”

The researchers recorded the eye movements of 59 participants while looking at 200 digital colour photographs of familiar and unfamiliar faces.

Familiar faces included people the participants knew in real life, famous celebrities and those only seen briefly before the experimental trials. Sometimes the participants lied about whether they recognised the photos, sometimes they told the truth.

Ailsa said: “We found that people’s eye movements were different when looking at photographs of faces they knew well compared to those they did not know, despite verbal reports denying recognition. When a participant looked at a face they recognised their eyes moved in a different pattern with fewer fixations. There is substantial evidence to suggest that this is involuntary, which means it could be hard to control or fake.…>>Read more

Source: Medical Xpress

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