Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Disturbing Celebrity Illusion

In case you missed it... (and what explains it?)

8 comments:

Jim Baerg said...

I don't see it.

I have the 'lazy eye' syndrome, ie: my brain pays little or no attention to the input from the 'bad' eye.

This suggests that the reason for the illusion involves the merging of the images from the two eyes.

Anonymous said...

Place a mirror halfway across the image of the Mona Lisa, to make two new faces.
Looks to me as if the artist might be suggesting something about male/ female identity.

View the revolving hollow face mask illusion. Which demonstrates how mental programming overrides conscious reasoning. The reverse is concave, without dispute. But the brain compels an observer to believe that it is convex, as it normally would be. Thus rendition trumps reality.

jeremy said...

@Jim, no it isn't, because the illusion persists if you close one eye completely.

My guess is that it has a lot to do with the difference between central and peripheral vision, with the latter being of poor fidelity. Usually our eyes flit from area to area within our visual fields, so that most of the area is briefly viewed by our central ("foveal") vision. We don't notice that we are doing this (it is an unconscious reflex) and the brain assists by piecing the bits together into a coherent whole that consciousness gets fed, so we aren't aware how bad our peripheral vision actually is.

By keeping our central vision trained on the cross, this reflex is suppressed.

There may be more to it, though. I have a suspicion this illusion also keys into the propensity of our brains to see faces in anything face-like. Perhaps the illusion is what happens when you feed the "face detection" program poor data from our peripheral vision, rather than the central vision that normally (unconsciously) does all the proper viewing. The distorted faces are the best the brain can do to "normalise" the dodgy data into something face-like. You could test this by repeating the experiment with various shapes instead of the faces.

Let me just stress though, these are just the thoughts that struck me. I have no particular expertise in this, and so I might be completely off base!

ShahHussainKCL said...

ZOMG!!! It's you:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Owen_Wilson_Cannes_2011.jpg

Anonymous said...

jeremy said...
There may be more to it, though. I have a suspicion this illusion also keys into the propensity of our brains to see faces in anything face-like
In addition, I wonder if that algorithm is accentuating certain facial regions (caricaturing). So that it may better use them in memory comparisons, to achieve identification.

mimpromptu said...

Is it because celebrities are made of different substances? I thought that give and take we can all be beautiful and ugly either at different times of our lives or even both at the same time.

mimpromptu said...

Haven't heard from Stephen for a long time - wondering why???????
nownki

dennymour said...

These photos of ‘Stars’ are fabulous showings of this blog. And yes I have known about these celebrities first time through this blog and truly I am pleased adding their name in my list own list of celebrities with lazy eye.