Category Archives: Research

Flashed Face Distortion Effect Published in Perception

Like many interesting scientific discoveries, this one was an accident. Sean Murphy, an undergraduate student, was working alone in the lab on a set of faces for one of his experiments. He aligned a set of faces at the eyes and started to skim through them. After a few seconds, he noticed that some of the faces began to appear highly deformed and grotesque. He looked at the especially ugly faces individually, but each of them appeared normal or even attractive. We called it the “Flashed Face Distortion Effect” and wanted to share it with the world, so we put it on YouTube.  Click for more.


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Identifying Fingerprint Expertise Published

We published the results of an experiment in the journal Psychological Science where we compare the fingerprint matching performance of experts and novices. More details of the experiment are available here. Tangen, J. M., Thompson, M. B., & McCarthy D. J. (2011). Identifying Fingerprint Expertise. Psychological Science, 22(8) 995–997. doi:10.1177/0956797611414729. [Press Release] [Blog Post] [PDF] Click for more.

Tangen Thompson McCarthy Identifying Fingerprint Expertise Results

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Invited talks at UC Irvine and U Lethbridge

I was invited to speak at the University of California, Irvine—by Associate Professor Simon Cole—and the University of Lethbridge in Canada—by Professor John Vokey. I was then treated to dinner by Professor Elizabeth Loftus. Beth is best known for her pioneering work on the misinformation effect and the implications for eyewitness testimony. Loftus sits half way down a list of the 100 most influential researchers in psychology of the 20th century (just below Posner and Broadbent). Click for more.


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Smart Futures PhD Scholarship

The Queensland Government have awarded me a Smart Futures PhD Scholarship to study the psychology behind fingerprint identification with Dr Jason Tangen [UQ Media Release]. The scholarship is part of the Queensland Government’s Innovation Skills Fund and provides $22,500 funding for outstanding PhD students to undertake innovative research in Queensland [Ministerial Media Release]. Click for more.


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