A New Look at Perception (Thank You, El Greco)

The Huffington Post:

El Greco was one of the greatest artists of the Spanish Renaissance, and also one of its most idiosyncratic. His contemporaries were puzzled by his fantastic use of color, and even more so by his oddly distorted vision. Many of his figures — Saint John the Baptist and The Repentant Magdalen and even his own self-portrait – are unnaturally elongated, as if they are being stretched from toe to head.

They found the same perceptual distortion as in the original (and replicated) experiment, as described in a forthcoming paper in the journal Psychological Science. This means that the effect cannot be perceptual. If the walls looked darker, the patches should also have looked darker — but they did not. Something else must account for the perceptual distortion. The room did not literally darken for those unfortunate volunteers who were fretting about their moral slipups.

Read the whole story: The Huffington Post

Wray Herbert is an author and award-winning journalist who writes two popular blogs for APS, We’re Only Human and Full Frontal Psychology.

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