An undergraduate student at The University of Queensland, Sean Murphy, discovered something vey interesting about the way our eyes perceive information. Actually, I don’t know if interesting is the right way to describe it. It’s really grotesque and scary. One person on Reddit described it as creating Picassos in his peripherals. It’s so freaky because the effect, called the Flashed Face Distortion Effect, only occurs in our peripheral vision. If we look at the images directly, we can’t see it.
This is very Clockwork Orange if you know what I mean. I’m glad I didn’t watch it right before going to sleep. Before you watch this video, just know that the faces have not been altered at all. This is how it all works… Each face is lined up with the eyes aligned. When they are flashed quickly in front of our eyes, a caricature of them forms based on how each face is processed in our brain compared to the others.
For example, if someone has a large forehead compared to the other photos in the set, it will appear humongous. If someone has a wide head compared to the others, it will appear deformed. It is all about how we compare and see the images in relation to each other. Sean, along with Dr. Jason Tangen (Lecturer at the University) and Matthew Thompson (PhD candidate) is currently studying this phenomenon to learn more about the science behind it. You can learn more about this by visiting Matthew B. Thompson and Perception Web. It’s time to watch the freaky video. Weeeeeeee!