Hi there! My name is Emily Meschke, and I'm a junior undergraduate majoring in Computational Neuroscience and minoring in Computer Science. I joined the Image Understanding Lab my freshman year, Fall of 2015, and since then, I've studied visual perception, face recognition in particular, to better understand the ways in which people interact with their environment and each other.

A person's identity--name, occupation, relationship to self--is often most easily accessed through their face. These complex stimuli more or less follow the same template, meaning that we have to be able to discriminate fine metric details, and exist in an infinite number of conditions (with variations in lighting, orientation, hairstyle), necessitating a robust representation of each face.

A portion of my research focuses on prosopagnosics, those who are unable to learn new faces or recognize friends and family. However, I'm currently investigating implicit face recognition in prosopagnosics, as some demonstrate a preference for familiar faces that they are unable to explicitly name. Prosopagnosics may rely on mechanisms of covert recognition in this Doppelganger Discrimination task, which asks subjects to identify familiar celebrities from a doppelganger (Meschke & Biederman, 2018).

As social relationships consitute a significant portion of a person's life, I've become interested in exploring the limits of person identification and face recognition. I'm currently conducting an experiment to test Dunbar's number of 150 (the current standard for the maximum number of meaninngful relationships a person can maintain) and estimate the number of faces a person can recognize.


Posters and Presentations

Honors and Awards

Contact Information

University of Southern California
Image Understanding Lab HNB 316
3641 Watt Way
Los Angeles, CA 90089-2520
Lab Phone: (213) 740-6102
Fax: (213) 740-5687
Email: emeschke@usc.edu