Pattern recognition enhancement

Pareidolia experience by StingrayZ - This animation serves as an example of pattern recognition enhancement which is specifically in the form of smiling faces embedded within tree bark.
Pattern recognition enhancement is an increase in a person's ability and tendency to recognise patterns (usually faces) within vague stimuli. This innate ability which human beings possess in everyday life is referred to by the scientific literature as pareidolia and is a well-documented phenomenon. [1] [2] [3] Common examples of this include spotting faces in everyday objects, such as the front of a car, or seeing different objects in clouds. [4] During this effect, pareidolia can be significantly more pronounced than it would usually be during a sober state. [5] For example, remarkably detailed images may appear embedded in scenery, everyday objects may look like faces, and clouds may appear as fantastical objects, all without any visual alterations taking place. Once an image has been perceived within an object or landscape, the mind may further exaggerate this recognition through the hallucinatory effect known as transformations, which goes beyond pareidolia and becomes a standard visual hallucination. Pattern recognition enhancement is often accompanied by other coinciding effects such as acuity enhancement and colour enhancement. [6] [7] It is most commonly induced under the influence of mild dosages of psychedelic compounds, such as LSD, psilocybin, and mescaline.


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  2. Kato, M., & Mugitani, R. (2015). Pareidolia in infants. PloS one, 10(2), e0118539. |
  3. Coolidge, F. L., & Coolidge, M. L. (2016, August 09). Why People See Faces When There Are None: Pareidolia. Retrieved February 21, 2018, from |
  4. Abraham, H. D. (1983). Visual phenomenology of the LSD flashback. Arch Gen Psychiatry, 40(8), 886-887. |
  5. Halberstadt, A. L. (2015). Recent advances in the neuropsychopharmacology of serotonergic hallucinogens. Behavioural brain research, 277, 99-120. |
  6. Papoutsis, I., Nikolaou, P., Stefanidou, M., Spiliopoulou, C., & Athanaselis, S. (2015). 25B-NBOMe and its precursor 2C-B: modern trends and hidden dangers. Forensic Toxicology, 33(1), 4. |
  7. Bersani, F. S., Corazza, O., Albano, G., Valeriani, G., Santacroce, R., Bolzan Mariotti Posocco, F., ... & Schifano, F. (2014). 25C-NBOMe: preliminary data on pharmacology, psychoactive effects, and toxicity of a new potent and dangerous hallucinogenic drug. BioMed Research International, 2014. |




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