This article reports a new visual illusion that has never described before. In normal observers gazing at one’s own face in the mirror for few minutes, at a low illumination level, produces the perception of strange faces. Observers see distortions of their own faces, but often all see skulls, archetypical faces, faces of relatives and deceased, and animals. In a laboratory set-up under controlled laboratory conditions in 50 healthy young volunteers (mean age 23 years) after about one minute all observers began to perceive apparitions. When a 10 minute session of mirror gazing ended participants reported experiencing striking effects including huge deformations of one’s own face (reported by 66% of individuals); a relative’s face with the features changed (18%), of whom 8% were still alive and 10% were deceased; an unknown person (28%); an archetypal face, such as that of an old woman, a child, or an image of an ancestor (28%); an animal face such as that of a cat or a pig (18%); and monstrous beings (48%). The illusion is relevant in the fields of face-perception, self-consciousness, embodied-cognition, mirror subject-other intersubjectivity.

Strange-face-in-the-mirror illusion.

CAPUTO, GIOVANNI BATTISTA
2010

Abstract

This article reports a new visual illusion that has never described before. In normal observers gazing at one’s own face in the mirror for few minutes, at a low illumination level, produces the perception of strange faces. Observers see distortions of their own faces, but often all see skulls, archetypical faces, faces of relatives and deceased, and animals. In a laboratory set-up under controlled laboratory conditions in 50 healthy young volunteers (mean age 23 years) after about one minute all observers began to perceive apparitions. When a 10 minute session of mirror gazing ended participants reported experiencing striking effects including huge deformations of one’s own face (reported by 66% of individuals); a relative’s face with the features changed (18%), of whom 8% were still alive and 10% were deceased; an unknown person (28%); an archetypal face, such as that of an old woman, a child, or an image of an ancestor (28%); an animal face such as that of a cat or a pig (18%); and monstrous beings (48%). The illusion is relevant in the fields of face-perception, self-consciousness, embodied-cognition, mirror subject-other intersubjectivity.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11576/2502312
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