Do You See Faces Everywhere? It’s Pareidolia
Have you ever ever seen a face in your espresso cup, a rabbit in clouds, a tragic man’s face in the Moon and a smile on your pizza? You aren’t loopy! It is Pareidolia – a psychological phenomenon of seeing faces in everyday objects.
In case you have, you’re not alone.
Seeing faces in inanimate objects is frequent, and it has a name: Pareidolia. It’s a psychological phenomenon that causes the human brain to lend significance—and facial features, particularly—to random patterns.
This isn’t a sign of insanity but a well-wired mind.
Professor Kang Lee, from the University of Toronto who carried out a study on facial Pareidolia, explains:
“Most people think you have to be mentally abnormal to see these types of images, so individuals reporting this phenomenon are often ridiculed.”
‘But our findings suggest it’s common for people to see non-existent features because human brains are uniquely wired to recognize faces, so that even when there’s only a slight suggestion of facial features the brain automatically interprets it as a face.
Pareidolia is the topic of a new exhibition at the Akron Museum of Art, called “Find a Face.” The show explores how the neurological tick impacts each artists, when they conceive work, and viewers, as they devour it.