Take a minute to watch the video above. Focus on the middle cross. Now watch it again and focus on either on the sides.
We have grown and were taught that celebrity headshots represent the ultimate beauty. And they usually do. But not always. An optical illusion called the “Flashed Face Distortion Effect”.
But…. It turns out that if you place two faces (attractive as they may be) next to each other and flash them rapidly, both faces features become exaggerated. While this is a relatively new find, Matthew B. Thompson explains some of its aspects:
The effect seems to depend on processing each face in light of the others. By aligning the faces at the eyes and presenting them quickly, it becomes much easier to compare them, so the differences between the faces are more extreme. If someone has a large jaw, it looks almost ogre-like. If they have an especially large forehead, then it looks particularly bulbous. We’re conducting several experiments right now to figure out exactly what’s causing this effect, so watch this space!