School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Alice J. O'Toole

Aage and Margareta Moller Professor

Research Interests

Face recognition by humans and machines. Neural processing of faces and bodies.

Curriculum Vitae


Dr. Alice O’Toole’s research focuses on human perception and memory for faces, using psychological, computational, and neuroscience-based methods. She has studied human and computer-based face recognition, and has conducted experiments to compare expert forensic facial examiners with untrained individuals. Dr. O’Toole also utilizes functional magnetic resonance imaging to study person recognition from the face, body, and gait. She currently serves as an associate editor for Psychological Science and for the British Journal of Psychology, has been named a fellow by the American Psychological Association, and holds the Aage and Margareta Moller Endowed Chair. Dr. O’Toole has been the recipient of an Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellowship, and has received research funding from NIMH, DARPA, IARPA, and the National Institute of Justice. Dr. O’Toole earned her bachelor’s degree from The Catholic University of America and her master’s and PhD from Brown University.

Recent and Selected Representative Publications

Book Chapters

Evaluating automatic face recognition systems with human benchmarks. In (Eds. J. Davis & T. Valentine). O’Toole, & Phillips, P. J. (2015, in press). Forensic Facial Identification: Theory and Practice of Identification from Eyewitnesses, Composites and CCTV. Wiley-Blackwell.

O’Toole, A. J. (2011). Cognitive and Computational Approaches to Face Perception. In (Eds. A. Calder, G. Rhodes, M. Johnson, & J. V. Haxby). Oxford Handbook of Face Perception. Oxford University Press, Oxford: UK.

Recent Articles in Peer-Refereed Journals

Parde, C. J., Castillo, C., Hill, M. Q., Colon, Y. I., Sankaranarayanan, S., Chen, J.C., & O’Toole, A. J. (2017). Deep Convolutional Neural Network Features and the Original Image. Proceedings of the 12th IEEE International Conference on Automatic Face and Gesture Recognition.

Hahn, C. A. & O’Toole, A. J. (2016). Recognizing approaching walkers: Neural decoding of person familiarity in cortical areas responsive to faces, bodies, and biological motion. NeuroImage,

Hill, M. Q., Streuber, S. Hahn, C. A., Black, M. J. & O’Toole, A. J. (2016). Creating body shapes from verbal descriptions by linking similarity spaces. Psychological Science, doi: 10.1177/0956797616663878.

Yovel, G. & O’Toole, A.J. (2016). Recognizing people in motion. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, Volume 20 , Issue 5, 383 — 395 DOI:

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