Why We See Faces In Toast

Why We See Faces In Toast

For millions of people, a daily bread delivery is the precursor to the joys of a hot slice of buttered toast, perhaps enhanced further with a bit of jam or honey.

While for many this is all about a tasty bit of breakfast to go with the morning tea or coffee, occasionally it comes with a surprise, with the freshly-toasted slice of bread appearing to show a face.

This is a common phenomenon known as pareidolia, where faces are seen in all sorts of objects or phenomenon – rather like the ‘man in the moon’. This month, a study carried out in Australia revealed why this is such a frequent occurrence.

University of Sydney neuroscientist Professor David Alais, the lead author of the study, said the reason for faces appearing everywhere is down to how facial recognition works for people, with people seeing two things at once – the real object and the apparent face.

He remarked: “We know these objects are not truly faces, yet the perception of a face lingers.” In other words, we are hard-wired to see and recognise faces – whether they are there or not.

Faces in toast are often the most remarked upon images. Sometimes these are iconic, like a ‘Face of Jesus’ in toast, which some may think is appropriate enough, considering the Lord’s Prayer includes the words “give us this day our daily bread”.

At the same time, they really are seen in a huge array of phenomena. The BBC recently reported on a photograph of a storm wave hitting a sea wall at Newhaven, which appeared to look like Neptune, the Greek god of the sea (and not the planet, which looks unlike any face).

Spectacular though that wave picture was, however, and fascinating as the man in the moon might look, there is still nothing to beat faces on toast. After all, whatever its expression, there is bound to be one happy face involved – the one it ends up being engulfed by.

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By | 2021-08-04T12:13:35+00:00 August 4th, 2021|Blog|Comments Off on Why We See Faces In Toast

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