Social Psychologist & Consciousness Studies Researcher

Traces of self

An intimate game of connect-the-dots
If you're like me, it doesn't take much time looking at a cloud to see a duck or at the irregular grain of wood to see a face. In fact, one of the most basic perceptual principles is the gestalt effect: the grouping of elements together into a familiar, whole form rather than a collection of separate parts. The image to the left consists of only discrete dots, each of which contains virtually no information at all. But the perception is much more meaningful: that of a human form. The dots even suggest a behavior: that it is safe to cross the street. And this persistent process of constructing more from less goes beyond producing an understanding of visual images and street signs. It creates our understanding of the self as well.

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