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Hi there! My name is Emily Meschke, and I'm a senior 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 by 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.

A portion of my research focuses on prosopagnosia, a deficit defined by difficulties with learning new faces or recognizing familiar ones. Interestingly, those with prosopagnosia may be able to unconsciously access a representation of these unrecognizable, familiar faces. In the Doppelganger Discrimination task, some extreme prosopagnosics show a preference for familiar faces that they are not able to explicitly identify (Meschke & Biederman, submitted).

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 conducted an experiment to test Dunbar's number of 150 (the current standard for the maximum number of meaninngful relationships a person can maintain) and reached a lower-bound estimate of the number of faces a person can recognize (Meschke et al., 2018).


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