Interesting blog about a mirror illusion – if you stare too long, your face seems to become distorted and you may even see a stranger there. I wonder what role this plays in body dysmorphia? Could it be that some people see distortions after a shorter time spent looking in the mirror? Not directly related to gender dysphoria, but a good reason not to spend too much time looking at mirrors.
An intriguing article has just been published in the journal Perception about a never-before-described visual illusion where your own reflection in the mirror seems to become distorted and shifts identity.
To trigger the illusion you need to stare at your own reflection in a dimly lit room. The author, Italian psychologist Giovanni Caputo, describes his set up which seems to reliably trigger the illusion: you need a room lit only by a dim lamp (he suggests a 25W bulb) that is placed behind the sitter, while the participant stares into a large mirror placed about 40 cm in front.
The participant just has to gaze at his or her reflected face within the mirror and usually “after less than a minute, the observer began to perceive the strange-face illusion”.
The set-up was tried out on 50 people, and the effects they describe are quite striking:
At the end of a…
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