Lifeless items stare you everywhere. A new study explains why they won’t leave

When you see a cloud in the slots of a power point or on the edge of a house, there is a term for it: face peridolia. This strange notion makes the phenomenon lifeless, facial features appearing in inanimate objects – the basic shape of two eyes and a mouth often makes all of this imagine you seeing a face back.

This general clarity can be seen anywhere when we make the mistake of having these rudimentary facial features present: even galactic-scale phenomena can cause us to have the same kind of weird dual behavior.

Behavioral neuroscientist Colin Palmer of the University of New South Wales (UNSW) says, “This basic pattern of features that define the human face is something that is found exclusively in our brain, and it is our attention to peridolia objects. Attracts. ” in Australia.

“But facial perception is not just about noticing a facial appearance. We also need to identify who that person is, and read the information from their face, as if they are paying attention to us or not. And they are happy or upset. ” “

010 faces in objects 2(Harry Grout / Unsplash)

That difference – not only seeing a face, but reading social and emotional information from it – can tell us how deeply the objects of peridolia are processed within our brain and visual systems.

One thing we know is that not only do people see faces where there is no one. A 2017 study found that the rhesus monkey (Macaca Mulatt) Also appear to experience deceptive faces on inanimate objects, and several other studies have explored the nervous system that may be behind the phenomenon in humans.

In new research, Palmer and fellow UNSW psychologist Colin Clifford tried to investigate whether face peridolia involves activation of sensory mechanisms designed to capture social information from human faces.

To do this, they recruited 60 participants for experiments in which objects of peridolia appeared to be staring one way (left) compared to the other. Repeated observation of the faces doing so creates a visual illusion called sensory adaptation – in this case, the gauges begin to ‘shift’ correctly.

Palmer says, “If you are repeatedly shown pictures of faces that look to your left, then your perception will actually change over time, so that the faces are actually more perfect than they look. Look. ”

“There is evidence that it represents a type of habitat process in the brain, where cells involved in detecting gaze direction change their sensitivity when we repeatedly face a particular direction of gaze. Are in contact. ”

010 faces in objects 2(Tom Hentoff / Flickr / CC BY 2.0)

Researchers said in their new interpretation, “We found that repeated exposure to peridolia objects has a specific direction of attention … causing a systematic bias towards gaze, which is usually the gaze’s gaze. Appears in the direction. ” Paper in more technical terms.

“The direction of gaze is thought to reflect plasticity in the nervous system that encodes perceptual features of a face; these cross-adaptation effects indicate overlap in sensory mechanisms that affect facial perididolia and human social attention. Let’s underline our experience. ”

The result, the team suggests, means that face peridolia goes beyond a purely cognitive or mnemonic effect, reflecting information processing in high-level sensory mechanisms in the visual system, which typically affect emotional states on the face. Used to read – such as whether someone is smiling and happy with us, down, or even angry angrily.

The ability to see not only the shape of the face, but also to read facial emotions is extremely important, seeing what the faces can tell them about the wearer.

Palmer says, “There is an evolutionary advantage of being really good or really skilled at face detection. It’s important to us. It’s also important in detecting predators.”

Because of that critical importance, in a sense, it is better to consider more and more faces, because when we think that we are seeing a face composed of two windows and a door, it is not at all problematic. But the face could not be detected.

“If you’re very good at detecting faces, this can lead to false positives, where you sometimes see faces that aren’t really there.”

“Another way to apply this is that it is preferable for a system that is highly sensitive to face detection, not more sensitive than one.”

The findings are stated in Psychological science.


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