#3: Visual Perception and 3 Psychological Imagery Experiments

Did you know that almost 65% of our population are visual learners?  In our modern day and age and for centuries before that, visual information in content plays a huge role in every day life.


The difference now is that we have faster broadband, WiFi connections, cellular networks, and high resolution screens which allows for more effective visual learning abilities online.

What is more fascinating is that many studies have been carried out as to how the human interprets visual imagery or what information we are capable of soaking up simply from what we see. How does it benefit us to learn faster without reading written content? Well… Imagery has proven to help the brain transmit messages a lot faster, it can trigger emotions, and it can also help improve learning comprehension.

Scientific studies prove that..

Although, in contrast, visual perception is not always straightforward in terms of how we interpret exactly what we think we see. Ever wondered how we see things and how do we interpret what we see?

According to an interesting experiment called ‘the hollow face effect’ that was created by a psychologist named Richard Gregory, the brain can sometimes trick the mind into what it sees.

Do you see a normal face when the mask rotated to the hollow section?

He used the rotation of a Charlie Chaplin mask to “explain how we perceive the hollow surface of the mask as protruding based on our expectation of the world”. Our prior knowledge of a normal face is that the nose protrudes. So, we subconsciously reconstructed the hollow face into a normal face.

So the question is what does this truly prove? Well it shows how the human mind can dictate an illusion due to the depth perception of the eye.

Another famous physiological study that has being carried out is called the

Giambattista della Porta.jpeg
Giambattista dell Porta      (1 5 3 5 – 1 6 1 5)

‘Binocular Rivalry Phenomenon’ and was discovered by Giambattista della Porta. This phenomenon occurs when our eyes perceives seperate images in each eye at the same time. One image dominates, while the other is suppressed but the dominate image can alternate periodically (this is known as dichoptic presentation).

The eye can see both images transition and the greatest example to show would be the effect of 3-D glasses. Have you ever seen a movie in the cinema while using 3-D glasses where images appear closer to you and move off the screen?

Numerous studies taken by psychologists also prove that similar colours are perceived as more harmonious and enjoyable unlike contrasting colours which are typically related to harshness or chaos.

The last influential experiment that I will talk about was created by Sanocki and Sulman in 2011, which was called the ‘colour relations experiment’. Their study portrayed how colour relations have an impact on short-term memory, in other words are we able to remember exactly what we just saw.

Four different trials were carried out during this study using soft and harsh colour palettes. In every trial, observers were shown two separate palettes and were asked to compare them both.

The patterns were presented in a predefined interval and in number of times in random planned patterns. In the end the observers were asked if the patterns shown were indifferent or unalike and were also expected to rate whether the pattern was harmonious or not.


Sanoki and Sulman’s study proved to show that people remembered colour patterns better when the colours were harmonious and that we can remember fairly high number of patterns at one time. The results also implied that humans can retain more information with similar colours rather than a combination of less colours.

Hmm it is quite interesting how the brain and eye works…




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