Posted by jeremy on February 6, 2011 8:35 pm.



… and yes, I failed it.


…recent advances in neuroimaging have made it possible to measure this difference between a schizophrenic’s brain and a healthy person’s brain.

The hollow-mask optical illusion is a simple test for the neurological dysfunction associated with schizophrenia. The visual senses of a person with a healthy brain will be overwhelmed by the illusion; a schizophrenic person reliably sees right through it.

What is the hollow-mask illusion? When a hollow mask is turned away from you, it will appear to be facing you; the nose, for example, will appear to be protruding from the mask. The illusion is so powerful that even if a test subject is told in advance what to look for, and even if he watches the illusion unfolding, his senses will still deceive him.

Try it yourself:

The brain activity responsible for the illusion

Mental health professionals have known about schizophrenics’ immunity to optical illusions like this one for some time. And now, recent advances in neuroimaging have made it possible to measure this difference between a schizophrenic’s brain and a healthy person’s brain.

A 2009 study of 29 volunteers used a functional MRI (fMRI) and a new analysis technique called dynamic causal modeling to identify how the volunteers process visual illusions. The results were conclusive, showing that schizophrenics’ failure to get taken in by the hollow mask illusion could be reliably detected.1

A Science Daily article has a writeup for laymen:

[This] study confirms that patients with schizophrenia are not fooled by the ‘hollow mask’ illusion, and that this may relate to a difference in the way two parts of their brains communicate with each other – the ‘bottom-up’ process of collecting incoming visual information from the eyes, and the ‘top-down’ process of interpreting this information…

… all 16 control volunteers perceived the hollow mask as a normal face – mis-categorising the illusion faces 99 percent of the time. By contrast, all 13 patients with schizophrenia could routinely distinguish between hollow and normal faces, with an average of only six percent mis-categorisation errors for illusion faces…

The results of the brain imaging analysis suggested that in the healthy volunteers, connectivity between two parts of the brain, the parietal cortex involved in top-down control, particularly spatial attention, and the lateral occipital cortex involved in bottom-up processing of visual information, increased when the hollow faces were presented. In the patients with schizophrenia, this connectivity change did not occur.2

Caveats

Seeing through the illusion isn’t a completely reliable indicator of schizophrenia. Some alcoholic test subjects may not be fooled by the hollow mask illusion.3 Being under the influence of cannabis (marijuana) may also yield a false positive.4


 

  1. ^ Dima, Roiser, et al (2009). "Understanding why patients with schizophrenia do not perceive the hollow-mask illusion using dynamic causal modelling" NeuroImage. doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2009.03.033
  2. ^ "Hollow Mask Illusion Fails To Fool Schizophrenia Patients"; ScienceDaily (April 17, 2009).
  3. ^ Schneider, Deitrich, et al. (1997). "Reduced binocular depth inversion in patients with alcoholism"; Alcohol & Alcoholism Vol. 33, No. 2, pp. 168-172, 1998.
  4. ^ H.M. Emricha, M.M. Webera, A. Wendla, J. Zihla, L. Von Meyer and W. Hanisch (1991). "Reduced binocular depth inversion as an indicator of cannabis-induced censorship impairment"; Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior Volume 40, Issue 3, November 1991, Pages 689-690. doi:10.1016/0091-3057(91)90383-D

 


 

  1. Re: If you fail this test, you're not schizophrenic  jonjay

    I rewinded this over and over and still failed. However, usually wouldn’t MOST people be able to pass it if you look at it over and over again? Are you sure this is a real test and not visual trickery? It’s almost like an alternate visual takes over when looking at the picture supposedly concave.

    At the end of the day, all i can say is this is horrible. Even if I am never targeted another day in my life, I will now know the cruelty of humanity and the facade of American Values and culture. I swear I don’t know what’s worse, living a lie in which predators brings you down without your knowledge or knowing that human nature is essentially animal in nature. It’s like evolution never occurred. I am in a nightmare trapped on Dr. Moreau’s Island!

    February 6, 2011 09:52:26 PM

    60 comments
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    • Re: If you fail this test, you're not schizophrenic  jeremy

      However, usually wouldn’t MOST people be able to pass it if you look at it over and over again?

      Through repeated viewings you can grasp intellectually how you’re being fooled, but your eyes will still relay a lie to your mind. It’s a powerful optical illusion.

      Are you sure this is a real test and not visual trickery?

      There are several other hollow mask videos on Youtube, and you can try it in person with someone holding a mask for you. As long as you’ve got a healthy brain, you’ll be fooled by all these tests.

      February 6, 2011 10:18:24 PM

      702 comments
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    • Re: If you fail this test, you're not schizophrenic  Alice

      It fool me over and over again. I’m not fooled that easy. Hum, you say it can’t fool some ones who schizonphren? So does that mean some one who suffers from this sees things more clearly than the rest of us? I watched at 5 times it still fooled me. I mean I study it hard trying to find where to tell the differences, I couldn’t see it. How do you tell the difference? Well I knowI’m not crazy but they try to make me look that way. I agree with jonjay people are evil beyound your wildest thoughts. I think they look for ways to be more evil any thing to hurt you. This has been my experiance through these implants.

       
      February 7, 2011 05:56:52 AM


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      • Re: If you fail this test, you're not schizophrenic  jeremy

        You seem to be upset that you were fooled. It’s good that you were fooled.

        You may be at half capacity due to sleep deprivation, but you’re not mentally ill. That’s the point.

        February 7, 2011 08:39:11 AM

        702 comments
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      • Re: If you fail this test, you're not schizophrenic  anon

        J, thanks for the repost on this. Happy to say I failed it.

        No doubt the schizophrenic label is a go-to favorite for our dear Drs. Mengele. And yet, it’s best if we elucidate WHY that is, and why they are so compulsive about driving hard to the hoop to apply this label (even if it entails the unethical practice of doing so remotely/without any direct contact and even if all of the “conditions” they “observe” somehow miraculously evaporate in their absence.)

        So why are they so adamant? Because it is no less than an existential struggle in their minds, to rationalize why other people arrive at different conclusions about the nature of things.

        They cannot fathom that their logic is incomplete, so it MUST BE that the other person is schizophrenic. And not only does the other have it all wrong, it is an INBORN defect.
        And not only is it an inborn defect, it is something that others should be viscerally afraid of.

        They are adamant about it as a matter of their own desperation. Look at what an absolutely convoluted, well-oiled, well-financed machine has evolved to protect MOTU from something as simple as differences of opinion and personal preferences. But this is all upstream chaos to a fascist. Better believe.

        In their highly reactive, risk averse minds, encountering such differences means they register a SURVIVAL THREAT And we kindly, empathic, see both sides kinds of souls have, for the most part, ceded the systems and policies of our society to accommodate those who are apparently congenitally risk averse.

        As things stand, they tell everyone they are in your life because you should be a patient. But the truth is, they’re in your life because you are a formidable opponent. And if they had a lick of courage, they’d allow things like the First Amendment and Due Process to vett out all that deserves vetting and take their defeats if they have indeed earned them. But that would represent too much of a loss of control to even let it get that far, so here we are in a Pre-Crime world, born of a paranoid, static, upstream mindset, where they manipulate observations to justify their own existence. Must be nice to be situated in such a way as to be self-dealing. I’m sorry, but who is it really who costs too much?????

        It’s like the guy who wants to sell metal detectors going down to the beach beforehand, planting little metal trinkets, inviting the world to come join him, and then putting on a display of his wares.

        I’m unimpressed. I’ve always been unimpressed by such things and I’ve said as much in no uncertain terms.
        That’s why I’m here.

        And yes, Time will tell.

         
        February 7, 2011 08:03:19 AM

        128 comments
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        • Re: If you fail this test, you're not schizophrenic  anon

          Must be nice to be situated in such a way as to be self-dealing.

          Just had to highlight that one more time.
          It’s called bilking the system. Which is ironic, because supposedly they exist to try to find potential drains on the system. Some people call it the snake eating it’s own tail. Some say simply, it’s just turtles all the way down.

          Here’s a showdown I’d frikkin love to see happen.

          TI is hauled into court and the prosecutors put their fMRI on display as evidence that their perceptions are askew and that the TI represents a threat to society.

          TI, representing him/herself appeals to the judge to have the prosecutor submit his/her fMRI to the court for examination.

          After all, we are now in the world of litmus tests for perception & deception.

          If their risk-aversion is the basis for why we’re here, then there you have it.

           
          February 7, 2011 08:15:34 AM

          128 comments
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          • Re: If you fail this test, you're not schizophrenic  jonjay

            I agree with you. However, I really think the MRI argument will always be a losing one. I am a pessimist. There is a VERY weak TI community in terms of quantity and consistent message that is being put out to the public. It’s like the Civil Rights movement. Malcolm X’s message was so militant that many black folks who were oppressed were not willing to listen and the power structure SURE as heck wasn’t about to listen. I have to say even though I have been through hell and back, I am still conservative about the approach to be taken with officials in DC or watch dog organizations. Believe me, there is no “left” or “right” agenda when it comes to TIs.

            Because this is an extrajudicial or preemptive system of justice if you will, due process will never be a part of it. Just as there are casualties of war, there will be casualties of this program that folks are under. I feel as if I have lost my family and honestly, now that they have been exposed for participating, I don’t have the drive to “fix” it anymore. If you don’t have family and friends to trust, you don’t have much. I never valued material things that much anyway, but with this program they take every bit of humanity away from you. And if for SOME reason this is NOT a program and just a bizarre high number of coincidental and ironic events, then I guess someone has to be the statistic.

            I have said this before, the fight is going to be with FUNDING. Cutting the budgets that maintain such covert experimental programs. Once a TI, always a TI, the scars will never go away. However, if the main source of funding is curbed, this may help them focus on REAL threats opposed to people on revenge lists.

            February 7, 2011 12:42:08 PM

            60 comments
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          • Re: If you fail this test, you're not schizophrenic  Confused

            I watched the video twice. The first time I saw it through the embedded video. I could only tell it was hollow.
            Then the second time I saw it full screen on youtube. Throughout the entirety of the second video I could only make out the “3d” hollow head twice.
            What does this mean exactly???

             
            February 7, 2011 03:05:29 PM


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            • Re: confused  jeremy

              Seeing through the illusion doesn’t prove you’re schizophrenic. Alcoholism and marijuana use can yield false positives. Check the end of the article.

              February 7, 2011 07:13:43 PM

              702 comments
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            • Re: If you fail this test, you're not schizophrenic  nice test

              Thank u I failed! One test I hope I never pass

               
              February 7, 2011 06:28:09 PM


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              • Re: If you fail this test, you're not schizophrenic  c_pete

                This is quite amazing. Whether or not this test is valid, the fact that there is a percentage of the population that can discern these illusions is very interesting. Does anyone know how this is possible cognitively?

                 
                February 7, 2011 07:58:23 PM


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                • Cognitive basis for test  jeremy

                  Snagged from a cognitive science board discussing this illusion:

                  It’s not that schizophrenic people can decipher optical illusions; [they can decipher] specific optical illusions related to face processing. Face processing and SCZ (together) live in a domain called social cognition. It’s been hypothesized that SCZ folks show social cognitive deficits like [autism spectrum disorder] folks.

                  Also, [regarding the observation that alcoholics/stoners can ‘beat the illusion’]: it’s not that you beat the illusion in these conditions, it’s that you cannot properly inhibit the optical illusion parts, so, what’s really there “appears”, because your brain says “[to hell with] this, I’m drunk, I’m not going to try very hard”.

                  However, that same explanation does not apply to SCZ folks. A similar one to that, though, is that overall, they have issues with face processing, so that part of the brain may go “I’m going to act drunk all the time and I’m not going to try very hard when I see faces”.

                  February 8, 2011 10:22:35 PM

                  702 comments
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                • Re: If you fail this test, you're not schizophrenic  anon

                  However, that same explanation does not apply to SCZ folks. A similar one to that, though, is that overall, they have issues with face processing, so that part of the brain may go “I’m going to act drunk all the time and I’m not going to try very hard when I see faces”.

                  Uh boy, here we go. I think I was just born (actually, also well-trained) to play devil’s advocate with these kinds of discussions, using my background as a counselor & a TI. Here goes:

                  Going with the very simple line of questioning, “Under specific conditions, could there be an alternative explanation for the observed (brain) behavior?”

                  And the very simple fact of the matter is that if you know someone is exploiting you, against your will, to accomplish a task, that will allow further exploitation of people in general, are you going to co-operate?

                  After all, the whole reverse engineering to torture, is, as we’ve mentioned previously: survive, evade, resist, escape. If a TI has a background in meditation, or has learned how to “lag” in processing scenery (including overall meaning of text that has just been read, words that have been said, etc.), then that is a form of intentional resistance. I’ve heard of TIs also being noncompliant with demands from motu to read lengthier texts (it’s all about the mapping).

                  It’s a pain in the arse to be misunderstood, lost in translation all the time, but given the whole swat a gnat with a sledgehammer thing we’ve got going, possibly marching towards some forced bioengineering scenario, hey, we all soldier on the best way we know how. You don’t ask permission to conduct research, you don’t get cooperation. Period.

                  We got idiots in just about every corner of the nation watching this unfold and they have no clue what it’s like to be engaged in a multi-year siege/battle of wits with a bunch of soulless literalist buffoons, who would conduct a lot better research if they would just ask a frikkin question every now and then. But they can’t, because they’ve co-opted their subjects’ lives without consent. Idiot observers wouldn’t know creative survival strategies if someone wrote it on their hand for them.

                  So FK em all. Lag Lag Lag. No names. Gosh, aren’t my shooooes interesting today?

                   
                  February 9, 2011 04:37:44 AM

                  128 comments
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                  • Re: If you fail this test, you're not schizophrenic  Shannon

                    Anon,

                    Your perspective/comments on this subject (targeted individuals) are among the most direct and lucid that I have read so far. And believe me, I’ve read plenty.

                    I hope you don’t mind if I share them? Thank you!

                    - Shannon

                     
                    February 9, 2011 05:48:46 AM


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                    • Re: If you fail this test, you're not schizophrenic  Ben

                      I have some psychotic symptoms from time to time. I do not see through this illusion. I think that failing this test would only suggest you wern’t completely schizophrenic. Factors like stress, drugs and mental state may well effect ones result over time.

                       
                      February 10, 2011 09:38:04 PM


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                      • Re: psychotic episodes  jeremy

                        I have some psychotic symptoms from time to time.

                        Psychotic episodes can be caused by things other than schizophrenia:

                        • brain tumors
                        • bipolar disorder
                        • extreme stress

                        There are many other possible causes for psychotic episodes of short duration. See: Wikipedia's page on psychotic episodes.

                        Note that the sorts of problems TI’s have are not ‘brief episodes’, and there are good reasons not to lump their experiences in with symptoms of mental illness - but a detailed explanation will have to wait for later.

                        February 10, 2011 10:31:10 PM

                        702 comments
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                      • Re: If you fail this test, you're not schizophrenic  JackOrr

                        Those are all the plans of the police, FBI and CIA, they always slander the perps or the people their framing, to disredit them. Always

                         
                        February 11, 2011 12:46:15 PM

                        20 comments
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                        • Re: If you fail this test, you're not schizophrenic  stopthestalkers

                          I too have failed watched it and it creeped me out lol

                           
                          February 13, 2011 03:05:35 AM

                          9 comments
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