Monday, December 03, 2007

Optical Collusion

UC Irvine's Elizabeth Loftus has recently published a study about how doctored photographs may shape public memory. By using digital design tools, Loftus made crowds appear in a famous photo of a man standing down a line of tanks in Tiananmen Square and riot police surround a demonstration in Rome. In the journal Applied Cognitive Psychology, Loftus's team posits "Cameras never lie -- but doctored photos can change history," after human subjects in the experiment remembered historical events differently when shown the digitally altered photographs. Last year's SIGGRAPH panel on "Ethics in Image Manipulation" also grappled with some of these issues.

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