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An overview of the latest developments in facial imaging.

Tijdschriftbijdrage - Tijdschriftartikel

Facial imaging is a term used to describe methods that use facial images to assist or facilitate human identification. This pertains to two craniofacial identification procedures that use skulls and faces-facial approximation and photographic superimposition-as well as face-only methods for age progression/regression, the construction of facial graphics from eyewitness memory (including composites and artistic sketches), facial depiction, face mapping and newly emerging methods of molecular photofitting. Given the breadth of these facial imaging techniques, it is not surprising that a broad array of subject-matter experts participate in and/or contribute to the formulation and implementation of these methods (including forensic odontologists, forensic artists, police officers, electrical engineers, anatomists, geneticists, medical image specialists, psychologists, computer graphic programmers and software developers). As they are concerned with the physical characteristics of humans, each of these facial imaging areas also falls in the domain of physical anthropology, although not all of them have been traditionally regarded as such. This too offers useful opportunities to adapt established methods in one domain to others more traditionally held to be disciplines within physical anthropology (e.g. facial approximation, craniofacial superimposition and face photo-comparison). It is important to note that most facial imaging methods are not currently used for identification but serve to assist authorities in narrowing or directing investigations such that other, more potent, methods of identification can be used (e.g. DNA). Few, if any, facial imaging approaches can be considered honed end-stage scientific methods, with major opportunities for physical anthropologists to make meaningful contributions. Some facial imaging methods have considerably stronger scientific underpinnings than others (e.g. facial approximation versus face mapping), some currently lie entirely within the artistic sphere (facial depiction), and yet others are so aspirational that realistic capacity to obtain their aims has strongly been questioned despite highly advanced technical approaches (molecular photofitting). All this makes for a broad-ranging, dynamic and energetic field that is in a constant state of flux. This manuscript provides a theoretical snapshot of the purposes of these methods, the state of science as it pertains to them, and their latest research developments.
Tijdschrift: Forensic Sci Res
ISSN: 2096-1790
Issue: 1
Volume: 4
Pagina's: 10 - 28
Jaar van publicatie:2019