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Wednesday, 11 July 2007

Trick of the Mind



No I am not talking about the Derren Brown TV programme (although it is rather good isn't it). I am talking about the weird optical illusions that our brain creates from ordinary things.


I am one of those people that makes shapes out of clouds, patterns in carpets etc. Once under the influence of a "herbal cigarette" I saw a minotaur's head made out of toilet roll at the bottom of the toilet, which freaked me out. Had I not been under the influence of drugs I'm sure I would have seen the minotaur anyway but I would have thought it was cool.


This morning, in one of Vince's t-shirts that was crumpled on the floor, I saw the face of Falcor looking much like he does in the picture above.


Does anybody know how or why our mind makes us see images in everyday objects and patterns?

8 comments:

Gill said...

strangely - or not so strangely becasue everything is so interconnected that coincindences are beginning to get tedious- I was researching this on wiki last week- look under the entry for pareidolia. However thinking that random things are interconnected and giving significance to them is called apophenia. I thought it was just called being a poet, but there you go!
Falcor is better than mother theresa in a currant bun!

Ruth said...

Well speaking as a psychologist I can tell you that it's to do with the way our brains are programmed to see whole pictures - `gestalt' images - for example a tiny baby will recognise two blobs and a curved line as a `face'.
But the fact that I feel there is some kind of some significance in the fact that Gill and I were discussing this only last week apparently means that I am mentally ill and in fact am a poet!

Gill said...

I think that what you see is significant and bears some relation to your state of mind at the time. Seeing Falcor in Vince's shirt means that you feel protected!

Gill said...

and magical!!

Karen said...

Very interesting theories from both of you!

i haven't seen any shapes in anything since then which is rather sad as I generally like them

Jen said...

"Never Ending sto-ory, ahhhhhhhhhh!"

Only just seen this, just got back home and back online. I like Falcor! We've got a little owl on the back of our bathroom door, well I can see it but no one else can, well not properly anyway! I see allsorts of things. Makes life interesting! Hope you're good. xxx

Gill said...

Look out for the toilet roll minotaur!

Gary said...

This happens to me all the time. I see it on wallpaper, clouds, flooring, clothes, and more. And there is nothing wrong with it all. I think and feel it has something to do with your imagination and how deep that river goes. It is truly interesting what we interpret while both on on and off the effects of certain substances.