Notes about pareidolia

July 25, 2012 permalink


What happens if you write software that generates random polygons and the software then feeds the results through facial recognition software, looping thousands of times until the generated image more and more resembles a face? Phil McCarthy’s Pareidoloop. Above, my results from running it for a few hours. Spooky.

(More about his project on GitHub, and more about pareidolia in case the name doesn’t ring a bell)

[8/5 Update: Hi folks coming in from BoingBoing and MetaFilter! Just want to reiterate that I didn’t write this software, the author is Phil McCarthy @phl !]

June 22, 2010 permalink

Michaelangelo Sistine Brain

From Concealed Neuroanatomy in Michelangelo’s Separation of Light From Darkness in the Sistine Chapel in the May, 2010, issue of Neurosurgery:

In the winter of 1511, Michelangelo entered the final stages of the Sistine Chapel project and painted 4 frescoes along the longitudinal apex of the vault, which completed a series of 9 central panels depicting scenes from the Book of Genesis. It is reported that Michelangelo concealed an image of the brain in the first of these last 4 panels, namely, the Creation of Adam. Here we present evidence that he concealed another neuronanatomic structure in the final panel of this series, the Separation of Light From Darkness, specifically a ventral view of the brainstem.

Could be pareidolia, but given Michelangelo’s breakthroughs in anatomical rendering and that God is depicted here with a rather non-standard bearded neck, who knows?