Face recognition that is invariant to pose and illumination is a problem solved effortlessly by the human brain, but the computational details that underlie such efficient recognition are still far from clear. This thesis draws on research from psychology and neuroscience about face and object recognition and the visual system in order to develop a novel computational method for face detection, feature selection and representation, and memory structure for recall. A biologically plausible framework for developing a face recognition system will be presented. This framework can be divided into four parts: 1) A face detection system. This is an improved version of a biologically inspired feedforward neural network that has modifiable connections and reflects the hierarchical and elastic structure of the visual system. The face detection system can detect if a face is present in an input image, and determine the region which contains that face. The system is also capable of detecting the pose of the face. 2) A face region selection mechanism. This mechanism is used to determine the Gabor-style features corresponding to the detected face, i.e., the features from the region of interest. This region of interest is selected using a feedback mechanism that connects the higher level layer of the feedforward neural network where ultimately the face is detected to an intermediate level where the Gabor style features are detected. 3) A face recognition system which is based on the binary encoding of the Gabor style features selected to represent a face. Two alternative coding schemes are presented, using 2 and 4 bits to represent a winning orientation at each location. The effectiveness of the Gabor-style features and the different coding schemes in discriminating faces from different classes is evaluated using the Yale B Face Database. The results from this evaluation show that this representation is close to other results on the same database. 4) A theoretical approach for a memory system capable of memorising sequences of poses. A basic network for memorisation and recall of sequences of labels have been implemented, and from this it is extrapolated a memory model that could use the ability of this model to memorise and recall sequences, to assist in the recognition of faces by memorising sequences of poses. Finally, the capabilities of the detection and recognition parts of the system are demonstrated using a demo application that can learn and recognise faces from a webcam.

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