Iris recognition is believed to offer excellent recognition rates for iris images acquired under controlled conditions. However, recognition rates degrade considerably when images exhibit impairments such as off-axis gaze, partial occlusions, specular reflections and out-of-focus and motion induced blur. In this paper, we use the recently-available face and ocular challenge set (FOCS) to investigate the comparative recognition performance gains of using ocular images (i.e., iris regions as well as the surrounding peri-ocular regions) instead of just the iris regions. A new method for ocular recognition is presented and it is shown that use of ocular regions leads to better recognition rates than iris recognition on FOCS dataset. Another advantage of using ocular images for recognition is that it avoids the need for segmenting the iris images from their surrounding regions.