It seems that during their research, some students stumbled across an interesting optical illusion they call the Flashed Face Distortion Effect. The abstract for their forthcoming paper describes it thusly:
We describe a novel face distortion effect resulting from the fast-paced presentation of eye-aligned faces. When cycling through the faces on a computer screen, each face seems to become a caricature of itself and some faces appear highly deformed, even grotesque. The degree of distortion is greatest for faces that deviate from the others in the set on a particular dimension (eg if a person has a large forehead, it looks particularly large).
It’s downright spooky, creating what one Redditor called “Picassos in my peripherals.”
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