Surely it has ever happened to you. You have been watching the clouds and you have finished seeing fOrmas, faces or even figures of people. And the moon? Anyone who has looked at it one night will have seen two eyes, a nose and a mouth.
This ability to see faces in unexpected places has a name: pareidolia. It is a phenomenon by which the brain recognizes something familiar (in most cases expensive) in inanimate objects or landscapes of nature. In fact, you only need to perceive the slightest similarity of similarity so that we associate these destructured forms with other recognizable ones that we have in our memory.
Although seeing shapes in clouds is more common, some people have come to meet faces like Jesus Christ in places as surprising as a piece of way and even a toast. But far from looking ridiculous, a study of the University of Ontario (2014) showed that this completely normal.
The research, led by Professor Kang Lee, concluded that pareidolia has physical causes and is not due to an anomaly or simple imagination. Analyzing the brain scans of people who saw faces in different objects, they discovered that it was due to the work of the frontal lobe, which sends signals to our posterior visual cortex to make it sensitive to faces.
The study also found that the areas that were most active during this distortion of perception were found in the temporal and occipital lobes. Specifically, the part of the brain that works the most is the call fusiform twist.
This part of the brain, also called occipitotemporal gyrus, is located on the basal side of the temporal lobe and is responsible for facial recognition in our day to day. The left fusiform turn is also necessary for the understanding of the meaning of a written text and the orthographic composition. When this part is injured, it causes a disease called prosopagnosia. This cognitive disorder prevents recognition of faces and became known worldwide thanks to Brad Pitt He suffers.