Can you see the face of a child in this picture ? Image Credit: University of Cambridge
Scientists have come up with a novel new way to determine whether someone is prone to hallucinations.
At first glance the black and white image may seem like nothing more than a random assortment of shapes, but if you stare at it long enough you may start to see the outline of a small child's face.
According to scientists at the Universities of Cardiff and Cambridge, the picture is able to test how good someone's brain is at predicting what it thinks should be there by filling in the missing gaps.
"Vision is a constructive process Ė in other words, our brain makes up the world that we 'see'," said Dr Christoph Teufel from the School of Psychology at Cardiff University.
"It fills in the blanks, ignoring the things that donít quite fit, and presents to us an image of the world that has been edited and made to fit with what we expect."
If you haven't been able to see the child in the picture yet, the original photograph on which the black and white image is based can be viewed by scrolling down the page - here
"Having a predictive brain is very useful Ė it makes us efficient and adept at creating a coherent picture of an ambiguous and complex world," said Professor Paul Fletcher.
"But it also means that we are not very far away from perceiving things that arenít actually there, which is the definition of a hallucination."
Source: Yahoo! News | Comments (64)
Hallucinations, Optical Illusion