Pattern recognition enhancement - PsychonautWiki

Pattern recognition enhancement

Face in a cloud by Neil Usher - This image serves as an example of pattern recognition enhancement.

Pattern recognition enhancement is defined as an increase in a person's ability and tendency to recognize patterns within vague stimuli.

Seeing patterns resemble human faces is an innate ability which humans possess in everyday life and is well documented in scientific literature under the term pareidolia.[1][2][3] Common examples of this include spotting faces in the front of a car, or seeing different objects in clouds.[4]

During this effect, patterns can be significantly more pronounced than it would usually be during a sober state.[5][6] For example, remarkably detailed images may appear embedded in scenery, everyday objects may look like faces, and clouds may appear as fantastical objects all without any visual alterations taking place. Once an image has been perceived within an object or landscape, the mind may further exaggerate this recognition through the hallucinatory effect known as transformations, which goes beyond pareidolia and becomes a standard visual hallucination.

Pattern recognition enhancement is often accompanied by other coinciding effects such as acuity enhancement and colour enhancement.[7][8] It is most commonly induced under the influence of mild dosages of psychedelic compounds, such as LSD, psilocybin, and mescaline.

Image examples

Eye.jpgEye of the tower by Davide Lombardi
Absents of the mermaid.jpgAbsents of the mermaid by Octavio Ocampo
Faceincloud.jpgFace in a cloud by Neil Usher
Storm-face.jpgFace within a cloud by Denis Farmer
Opticalillusion1.jpgOptical illusion by Oleg Shuplyak
Smiley face.jpgSmile in tree bark by Chelsea Morgan
Face within tree bark.jpgFace within tree bark by Bev Doolittle
Skullflower.jpgSkullflower by Anonymous
The Forest Has Eyes.jpgThe Forest Has Eyes by Bev Doolittle
Squinting rooftop.jpgSquinting eyes on a roof top by Anonymous
Shuplyak faces 10.jpgOptical illusion by Oleg Shuplyak

Psychoactive substances

Compounds within our psychoactive substance index which may cause this effect include:

... further results

Experience reports

Anecdotal reports which describe this effect within our experience index include:

See also

External links


  1. Liu, Jiangang; Li, Jun; Feng, Lu; Li, Ling; Tian, Jie; Lee, Kang (2014). "Seeing Jesus in toast: Neural and behavioral correlates of face pareidolia". Cortex. 53: 60–77. doi:10.1016/j.cortex.2014.01.013. ISSN 0010-9452. 
  2. Hadjikhani, Nouchine; Kato, Masaharu; Mugitani, Ryoko (2015). "Pareidolia in Infants". PLOS ONE. 10 (2): e0118539. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0118539. ISSN 1932-6203. 
  3. Coolidge, F. L., & Coolidge, M. L. (2016, August 09). Why People See Faces When There Are None: Pareidolia. Retrieved February 21, 2018, from
  4. Abraham, Henry David (1983). "Visual Phenomenology of the LSD Flashback". Archives of General Psychiatry. 40 (8): 884. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1983.01790070074009. ISSN 0003-990X. 
  5. Belser, Alexander B.; Agin-Liebes, Gabrielle; Swift, T. Cody; Terrana, Sara; Devenot, Neşe; Friedman, Harris L.; Guss, Jeffrey; Bossis, Anthony; Ross, Stephen (2017). "Patient Experiences of Psilocybin-Assisted Psychotherapy: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis". Journal of Humanistic Psychology. 57 (4): 354–388. doi:10.1177/0022167817706884. ISSN 0022-1678. 
  6. Halberstadt, Adam L. (2015). "Recent advances in the neuropsychopharmacology of serotonergic hallucinogens". Behavioural Brain Research. 277: 99–120. doi:10.1016/j.bbr.2014.07.016. ISSN 0166-4328. 
  7. Papoutsis, Ioannis; Nikolaou, Panagiota; Stefanidou, Maria; Spiliopoulou, Chara; Athanaselis, Sotiris (2014). "25B-NBOMe and its precursor 2C-B: modern trends and hidden dangers". Forensic Toxicology. 33 (1): 1–11. doi:10.1007/s11419-014-0242-9. ISSN 1860-8965. 
  8. Bersani, Francesco Saverio; Corazza, Ornella; Albano, Gabriella; Valeriani, Giuseppe; Santacroce, Rita; Bolzan Mariotti Posocco, Flaminia; Cinosi, Eduardo; Simonato, Pierluigi; Martinotti, Giovanni; Bersani, Giuseppe; Schifano, Fabrizio (2014). "25C-NBOMe: Preliminary Data on Pharmacology, Psychoactive Effects, and Toxicity of a New Potent and Dangerous Hallucinogenic Drug". BioMed Research International. 2014: 1–6. doi:10.1155/2014/734749. ISSN 2314-6133.