Monthly Archives: May 2015

A little test of face recognition for older readers

Usura – Open Your Mind.

If dyslexia isn’t a visual problem, then what is it?

Forget colour overlays – dyslexia is not a vision problem. by Clare Wilson

New Scientist. 25 May 2015.

Do you want to know my theory about dyslexia? I think dyslexia is a lack of synaesthesia, for two very good reasons. Firstly, if you break the act of reading down into its most basic element (phonics or translating graphemes into phonemes), it is basically synaesthesia in which visual symbols as a visual stimuli evoke an experience of language sounds. Reading is basically hearing symbols, and that experience of language sounds further triggers the experience of concepts being triggered by language sounds. I know that things as complex as concepts can be synaesthesia concurrents because I myself experience a number of varieties of synaesthesia in which quite sophisticated concepts are the concurrents. I think the reason why some people are poor at reading or slower to pick up the skill is identical with the normal genetic variation in the degree which people are more or less syanesthete. There is debate about how much evidence has been found by researchers about brain structure and syanesthesia, but I still think it likely that syanesthesia is the result of a hyper-connected brain, and I think the opposite is true of dyslexics, and I believe the theory of dyslexia and hypoconnectivity is nothing new in dyslexia research.

The second reason why I think dyslexia can be regarded as the opposite of synaesthesia (even though I’m open to the possibility that there could be some individuals who have both conditions for reasons unknown) is that in my family of blood relatives we have a pedigree of generations who have a profession that primarily deals with the written word or have scored in academic selection tests in the highest levels of percentiles in reading, writing and general literacy skills, even though their results in other academic areas are above average but not exceptional, and most of these people appear to be grapheme-colour synaesthetes. I believe this association is not random, but such a relationship can only be proven by studies done by researchers on large numbers of people, and if any researcher would like to put my theory to the test and publish the results I would expect that I would be appropriately credited in their research paper.

Looking far into the future…..

I can predict that a fascinating paper about the development of face and body recognition abilities in children will be published in a journal in September of this year.

Face and body recognition show similar improvement during childhood.
Samantha Bank, Gillian Rhodes, Ainsley Read, Linda Jeffery,
ARC Centre of Excellence in Cognition and Its Disorders, School of Psychology, University of Western Australia, Crawley, WA 6009, Australia
Received 19 December 2014, Available online 20 April 2015

Journal of Experimental Child Psychology. Volume 137 September 2015, Pages 1–11.

Don’t confuse poor face memory with aphasia

I know this fascinating article is from 2013, but it makes such an important point about face recognition that I want to bring it to your attention, if you weren’t already aware of it. The ability to remember a person’s face is a different ability than the ability to name the person the face belongs to. These abilities are evidently processed in different areas of the brain. Unfortunately, there is no direct link to the journal paper this article summarizes, so I cannot quickly determine whether the test using the faces of famous people is the same as the “Famous Faces” test that I have previously mentioned at this blog (and done myself). It does sound similar to one of the tests offered here, free of charge:

Famous faces to help spot early dementia.
Anna Salleh ABC. 13 August 2013.

More interesting stuff about “the dress”

I’m a little bit relieved to find that as a person who saw the colours exactly as they are in the photo, I’m not the only person who percieved the colours of “the dress” in such a straighforward and rational way. I’m a member of the third-most common group of people, a minority (?!?) of around 10% of people. The smallest minority of respondents are classified as “other”. We can only guess what these people saw, and what they were on.

“I think it will go down as one of the most important discoveries in color vision in the last 10 years,” Conway says. “And all because of a crazy photograph.” I think it just goes to prove that there’s more new scientific discoveries out there to be made than we can guess, and those discoveries can originate from people who are not scientists and human activities that are far removed from academia and science labs. I love it.

The Dress divided the Internet, but it’s really about subtraction. RACHEL EHRENBERG

ScienceNews. MAY 14, 2015.

Striking individual differences in color perception uncovered by ‘the dress’ photograph. Rosa Lafer-Sousa, Katherine L. Hermann, Bevil R. Conway

Current Biology. Available online 14 May 2015.

The many colours of ‘the dress’. Karl R. Gegenfurtner , Marina Bloj, Matteo Toscani

Current Biology. Available online 14 May 2015.

Asymmetries in blue–yellow color perception and in the color of ‘the dress’. Alissa D. Winkler, Lothar Spillmann, John S. Werner, Michael A. Webster

Current Biology. Available online 14 May 2015.

What colour is the dress? Here’s why we disagree. Michael Slezak

New Scientist. 27 February 2015.

More pareidolia viewing the world of plants and fungi

Some music clips featuring personified objects

Reflections by Django Django

How could anyone listen to these vocals and not see colours? Sounds like the Dandys, don’t you think?


Fish Heads by Barnes and Barnes

This was one of the clips shown on Rage when Noel Fielding was the host. I didn’t get much sleep that night. We can always rely of Fielding for a good dose of psychedelic nonsense. Don’t be afraid of the fish at the seafood counter, little girl. They aren’t alive.

That’s odd. Both musical groups have names that are the same thing repeated twice. I guess there’s a lot of repetition in psychedelia.