Spookier Than Fiction!
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday
“Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all”
We all know the phrase don’t we? Snow White’s evil stepmother wishing to know who is the most beautiful in the land? But have you heard of The Troxler Effect? As in monsters within the mirror?
Reminds me of the old urban legend of Bloody Mary where upon should you repeat the name three times into a mirror you will summon her ghost….
……. hasn’t happened so far anyways!
However – have you asked yourself of late how often you stare into a mirror and maybe for how long you do that? After a while your face can distort and you can actually ‘freak yourself’ out, or even start to imagine that someone else is in the room with you….
Studies in 2012 resulted in the following … that 50 participants who stared non stop into a mirror for ten minutes … 66% experienced huge deformations and distortions of their own face, whilst 28% saw an unknown person, whilst a staggering 48% saw monstrous beings!
The question that remains is – how is this possible or even more to the point – why?
The answer is that our brains are marvelous little machines and we are able to selectively process. Which means that our brains can only handle so much information at one time and so by staring fixedly at one point for long enough will start to affect the way your brain perceives the information it is being asked to process and with many people it can produce startling results.
I am sure that some of you may have taken part in the red dot experiment where upon if you view the red dot long enough it may appear to move. The outer ring to the red dot will disappear. This is known as ‘peripheral fading’, Troxler Effect or Troxler’s Fading and was discovered by Swiss philosopher and physician Paul Vital Troxler.
The brain in order to hyperfocus eliminates unnecessary images and in this case, your brain is eliminating the outer blue ring.
We all experience the effect day in day out, when you first put on your clothing, you will be aware of the stimuli of doing so, however unless you specifically think of those items on your body your brain eliminates the stimuli as unnecessary and so you can get on with your day without continually thinking ‘Oh yes l am wearing pants, top, socks and shoes’, but none of us actually think that way deliberately, we simply accept that once the clothing is on, it is simply on until we take them all off again.
That is what happens when people see monsters in their mirrors, your brain is attuned to you staring at one point for long enough that it eliminates the unnecessary peripheral images and creates its own. In other words your brain panics and desperately tries to fill in what it thinks should be there to appease you.
So the next time you want to be properly freaked out … grab yourself a mirror …or look at this mawahahahaha!