Pretty, ugly faces, rapidly

Assault someone—you, for instance—with too many beautiful faces, too rapidly, in a particular way, and things turn ugly, explains this study (and its accompanying video, below):

Flashed face distortion effect: Grotesque faces from relative spaces“, Jason M Tangen [pictured here, right, at low speed], Sean C Murphy, Matthew B Thompson, Perception, 2011, vol. 40, no. 5, pp. 628–30. The authors write:

“We describe a novel face distortion effect resulting from the fast-paced presentation of eye-aligned faces. When cycling through the faces on a computer screen, each face seems to become a caricature of itself and some faces appear highly deformed, even grotesque. The degree of distortion is greatest for faces that deviate from the others in the set on a particular dimension (eg if a person has a large forehead, it looks particularly large).”

(via David Bradley)

BONUS: A photograph of the face of a different Jason Tangen. This one is a real estate agent:

Leave a Reply