For most people the image above will just appear as a set of unconnected white and black blobs. But for some, the image will reveal the face of a baby. Scientists from the Universities of Cardiff and Cambridge believe the ability to see the baby in the image could show you are more prone to hallucinations, and possibly psychosis. Metro reports Researchers found that out of 18 volunteers, people with early stages of psychosis were more likely to see the black-and-white image of the baby.
The picture is able to test how good someone’s brain is at predicting what it thinks should be there by filling in the missing gaps.
“Vision is a constructive process – in other words, our brain makes up the world that we ‘see’,” said Dr Christoph Teufel from the School of Psychology at Cardiff University. “It fills in the blanks, ignoring the things that don’t quite fit, and presents to us an image of the world that has been edited and made to fit with what we expect.”
Here is the unaltered image:
“Having a predictive brain is very useful – it makes us efficient and adept at creating a coherent picture of an ambiguous and complex world,” said Professor Paul Fletcher.
“But it also means that we are not very far away from perceiving things that aren’t actually there, which is the definition of a hallucination.”