Associate Professor David White

My Expertise

I am a lead investigator in the Face Research Lab at UNSW. We study face perception with a focus on individual differences in people's ability to perform face processing tasks. Although we all look at many faces each day, we do not all share the same abilities to process the important social information that they contain.

These individual differences have implications for theoretical understanding of perceptual processing and social cognition, as well as for people's everyday lives. They are also of substantial applied interest in settings where accurate face identification decisions are critical to identity management processes, for example in government, police, private industry and courts. Errors in these decisions can have profound social consequences, such as identity theft, acts of terrorism or wrongful convictions.

Our work in this area encompasses performance testing of humans and technology. Interest in facial recognition technology is both applied and theoretical. From an applied perspective, we are interested in how people use and collaborate with facial recognition technology when making face identity judgments – for example in criminal investigations and forensic science evidence reports. From a theoretical perspective, we are interested in the potential for modern facial recognition technology – Deep Neural Networks – to model aspects of the face processing system in humans. 


Fields of Research (FoR)

Vision science, Computer vision, Forensic psychology, Sensory processes, perception and performance, Social and affective neuroscience, Cognition, Cognitive neuroscience, Cognitive and computational psychology

My Research Supervision

Areas of supervision

Face perception, perceptual expertise, visual processing, social cognition, individual differences in perception.