Our brains’ recognition of objects depends on their orientation. What do you see in this image?
Our brains have a spectacular ability to recognize faces. Minimal information is required to do so — for example, a nose, a mouth, and two eyes. In the first image above, there isn’t quite enough distinguishing information for most people to see a face. However, when the image is inverted (the second image above), a face appears. This results because our brain is tuned to seeing faces in this orientation.
Sarah Bates, MS, MA
Sarah Bates is the former manager of BrainFacts.org. With master's degrees in online journalism and astronomy, she is particularly interested in articles focused on technology and the brain.
Grützner C, Uhlhaas PJ, Genc E, Kohler A, Singer W, et al. Neuroelectromagnetic Correlates of Perceptual Closure Processes. The Journal of Neuroscience. 16 June, 30(24):8342-8352 (2010).
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