Standardizing visual inspection methods within forensic science - UCL

Researchers from University College London (UCL) are using eye tracking to understand how personal biases and context influence the interpretation of evidence in a bid to standardize visual assessment methods in forensic science.

“I think that eye tracking adds that extra layer of understanding human performance in a way that we previously didn’t have and Tobii Pro has helped tremendously with helping us to understand the data we are collecting.”

Dr Sherry Nakhaeizadeh – Research Fellow, Department of Security and Crime Science Center for the Forensic Sciences, UCL

Despite what you see on TV, forensic science is not black and white and many conclusions are derived from human interpretation not definitive scientific facts.

Tobii Pro Insight is helping run a qualitative eye tracking research project for UCL’s Department of Security and Crime Science Centre for the Forensic Sciences to establish what factors influence varied interpretation and ways to remedy this. It’s examining the visual strategy of beginner, intermediate, and expert forensic anthropologists to reveal objective insights on their cognitive processes while examining a set of skeletal remains.

Several variables are being examined including, years of experience within the field and within the methods used in forensic anthropology. The study is also exploring how the eye tracking data may be used to better explain tacit knowledge from experts and impart this on to beginners. 

Read this paper to learn more about the study: The value of eye-tracking technology in the analysis and interpretations of skeletal remains: A pilot study.