Can you see the Virgin Mary's image in the sandwich? And scientists now say they know why this happens -- and how it works. Our brains automatically identify similar objects and then organize them according to type. After noticing so many examples of people seeing familiar -- and highly meaningful -- images in ordinary objects, Voss and his colleagues started to wonder what parts of the brain might be sparking when this happens. So the researchers rounded up 10 volunteers who were willing to lie in a brain scanner while looking at a bunch of squiggles.
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How soon can scientists find a coronavirus vaccine? The age-old phenomenon has been a boon to the internet age. Face pareidolia is a subject of a popular Twitter handle and blog featuring images like Jesus on the belly of a cat. But little is known about how exactly the brain takes such visuals and translates them into the composite of facial features. In the first study of its kind, researchers at the University of Toronto and a number of academic institutions in China used brain scans and behavioral responses to learn more about the neural mechanism of face pareidolia.
Perceptions of religious imagery in natural phenomena
Pareidolia[ edit ] Scientifically, such imagery is generally characterized as a form of pareidolia. This is a false perception of imagery due to what is theorized as the human mind's over-sensitivity to perceiving patterns, particularly the pattern of a human face , in otherwise random phenomena. These factors make the word easy to read into many structures with parallel lines or lobes on a common base. Lewis[ edit ] The author C. Lewis wrote about the implications of perception of religious imagery in questionable circumstances on issues of religious belief and faith.