Join 3,377 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


FreakyFace
March 21, 2004 9:33 AM   Subscribe

The Thatcher Illusion (using Madonna), the original, Bush
posted by srboisvert (25 comments total)

 
This is really cool, and the Double Face illustration on the first link there is really brain-twisty to look at, too. Thank you for sharing!
posted by headspace at 10:11 AM on March 21, 2004


...the Double Face illustration on the first link there is really brain-twisty to look at...

This image is simply very hard to watch. Again the face recognition module is most definitely to blaim, but I don't have a deeper analysis of what the cause is.

I'm thinking, your brain thinks it is experiencing double-vision, and tries to "correct" your sight by merging the two sets of eyes, the two mouths, into one each?

Anyone?
posted by Shane at 10:14 AM on March 21, 2004


I too found the double face more of a mind blower. It actually is very hard to keep looking at it, but I have no idea why.
posted by CunningLinguist at 10:19 AM on March 21, 2004


It's all about the eyes. If you cover them, you have no problem looking at two mouths.
posted by CunningLinguist at 10:20 AM on March 21, 2004


I wonder if it's because you instinctively try to make eye contact?

The Madonna illusion is pretty great -- I'm less impressed with the Thatcher and Bush illusions.
posted by LittleMissCranky at 10:33 AM on March 21, 2004


You wanna know what's weird, though? I covered the eyes and CunningLinguist is right, it's not hard to look at. Just for giggles, I tried covering the mouth, and I don't have a problem looking at it that way, either. Maybe it's the combination of two eyes and two mouths, with the nose appropriately placed that makes our brains thing we should be seeing either two faces, or just one, but not both?
posted by headspace at 10:34 AM on March 21, 2004


I think Shane is basically right about the brain trying to correct for double vision, but this double face is harder to watch than, say, a double stop sign, because of the fact that our face-recognition "software" is wired into so many parts of our brain, especially (I'm assuming) our limbic system, home to some of our more powerful mammalian emotions.
posted by kozad at 10:39 AM on March 21, 2004


For some reason I found it slightly easier to look at with one eye closed. With two it was a breeze.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 10:42 AM on March 21, 2004


Maybe it's the combination of two eyes and two mouths, with the nose appropriately placed that makes our brains thing we should be seeing either two faces, or just one, but not both?

I think you're onto something. Two sets of eyes and two mouths flanking one nose helps cause the brain disconnect. I bet if you added a nose, the phenomenon would disappear, or at least lessen in intensity very considerably.
posted by Shane at 10:52 AM on March 21, 2004


But then covering the nose should cut down on the eye anxiety and it doesn't. At least for me.
posted by CunningLinguist at 10:55 AM on March 21, 2004


IS SLIGHTLY THIS EASIER ON YOUR EYES?
posted by Shane at 10:58 AM on March 21, 2004


IS SLIGHTLY THIS EASIER ON YOUR EYES?

Sorry. {Should be "IS THIS SLIGHTLY EASIER ON YOUR EYES?"} Dyslexic am I, staring from.
posted by Shane at 11:06 AM on March 21, 2004


Erm, I guess it's slightly easier, but the eyes still wazz the brain out the most, and (I think) covering them still provides maximum relief. Maybe it's a combination of all these things, including cranky's it's because you instinctively try to make eye contact?

I dunno *shrugs* I'll show it to one of my cats and see what it does to him.
posted by Shane at 11:11 AM on March 21, 2004



Is this any better?
posted by wsg at 11:49 AM on March 21, 2004


With the doubleface thing, I don't find it hard to look at in the "I want to look away" sense, it's just hard traversing the image with my eyes without getting stuck in weird places.
posted by abcde at 12:14 PM on March 21, 2004


Here's one I did awhile ago: Honest Abe.
posted by gwint at 12:17 PM on March 21, 2004


Wow. That double-eye picture makes me dizzy. The room starts to spin.
posted by Mars Saxman at 12:21 PM on March 21, 2004


I had double vision similar to that picture for about 6 weeks; though for me, the top version of things was rotated to the left about 20 degrees also.

The interesting thing is, while it was rather annoying seeing everything that way, it was *especially* disturbing to look at peoples faces when I was seeing double. Not sure why. I definitely avoided looking at people, because there was something really horrific about seeing their faces double.

Alot of scary movies (The Ring comes to mind) use the distortion of peoples faces to provoke some sort of gut reaction that the distortion of other objects wouldn't. Kinda interesting.
posted by FortyT-wo at 12:25 PM on March 21, 2004


I actualy found that if I stared at the four sets of eyes, I could belive it was a person with four actual eyes, but just one mouth. The extra mouth was simply 'dropped' from my perception. Very strange.

Actualy, the screwy thatcher and GWB images did seem wrong (especialy thatcher), probably because they were next to the correct image.

OTOH, the cute girl (who did the GWB image) was obviously off because of the angles between her lips and her smile
posted by delmoi at 5:10 PM on March 21, 2004


My wife had strong visceral reactions to the double face; I have none. She's wearing glasses, and I'm not and I'm mainly blind in one eye.

Hmmm.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:45 PM on March 21, 2004


the double face reminds me of this photo by Man Ray of the Marchesa Casati (i can't find a link to a real one)
posted by amberglow at 7:00 PM on March 21, 2004


Ouch! Looking at that double-eye picture gives me actual physical pain in my eyes. I guess it is my brain trying to correct things it is not used to correcting. Closing one eye makes it fairly easy to look at, however. Covering either the eyes, mouths or nose makes no difference.
posted by dg at 7:49 PM on March 21, 2004


I think the double-featured face is weird because your mind reads the image as being out of focus, so tries to convince your muscles that it's not looking at the right plane, so your muscles try to focus closer.

I don't find the double-featured face at all weird to look at -- I think it's because I've always been very good at those magic-eye posters (seriously).
posted by o2b at 8:31 PM on March 21, 2004


I reckon its because when talking to someone -- and to a lesser extent just looking at a picture -- your eyes oscillate between looking at their eyes and mouth and this image disrupts that usual pattern
posted by elliot100 at 5:58 AM on March 22, 2004


In the double-eye pic, my mind/ I, via the movement of my eyes, seem[s] to be trying to seek out the real face [ie. 2 eyes, 1 nose and 1 mouth] from what is percieved to be the false data, or superfluous eyes: because a face has 2 eyes and 1 mouth. Since there is no real face amongst false data, my etes keep scanning for the real data, as if it were still there somewhere, because in reality, if it were a case of double-vision, the real face would [in all reason] be there.

It's like the false data the RIAA puts in the first[?] session of a cd to make a PC's cd-rom drive stuff up, searching and searching over the same bogus data, to make sense of it - failing - and yet not giving up.

Crikey, I still feel dizzy, and a little nauseous.
posted by Blue Stone at 6:00 AM on March 22, 2004


« Older One Year Later... "In truth, most things have gone...  |  Wanna know what your neigbors ... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments