Looking deep in to someone’s eyes can tell you a lot about them. Dr Rob Jenkins from the University of York’s Department of Psychology has published a study proving how pupils in photographs of people can be “mined” for information, revealing hidden truths.
Dr Jenkins and his team simulated crime photos, where victims were photographed by an attacker. The reflections in the victim’s eyes were then examined. Co-researcher Christie Kerr and Dr Jenkins photographed eight people who were looking at four other individuals. When they zoomed in on the photos, they were able to obtain bystander images, which could then be identified by the eight individuals even if the images were of poor quality.
This could be a vital aid in criminal investigations, which often use photographic evidence in solving a crime. If photographs can now provide more information through pupil reflections, then investigators could piece together more facts, like an individuals location and the number of people involved with a crime, or even potential witnesses.
Jenkins forensic use of photographs does have some flaws. The images taken for the study were shot with a 39-megapixel Hasselblad camera and the subject needed to look directly into the camera in order to obtain the best results. Unfortunately these precise circumstances do not happen when a crime is committed but it certainly gives investigators a new tactic which could perhaps be built on.