Published 2018-10-12
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What do you see in the image? A study says that your age affects what you perceive in this famous illusion

A new study conducted by the University of Flinders in Australia has tried to prove a theory about the classic optical illusion called "My wife and my mother-in-law". The illustration shows both a young woman looking far away and an elderly woman with a large nose in profile. Without a doubt, it is an image that we have seen repeatedly throughout the network, for several years now. But, did you know that your age could influence what you see in the sketch? In case you still do not believe it, we encourage you to know the conclusions reached by these researchers.

Before beginning to analyze the answer, it is important that we stop to try to find the image that appeared first in the subconscious. It does not matter if we can later find the second one, it's simply about analyzing the way in which our brain works and how we can find one way or another according to the age we have. Do not think that we are just going to limit ourselves to telling you the solution, but we will also explain the reason that makes us see each of them in a more or less clear way when going through the age of 30 years.

This age is key for our brain because in reality, although we reach many more years normally, the age for which we are conceived as the maximum hope of life is 30 years. Everything that adds up there is a record. That is why we began to "smell old" as soon as we crossed that border, as recently discovered in another study. Our body begins to not be 100% until our brain begins to see the signs of age in every little detail. Do not throw your hands to your head, because in reality, it does not mean anything special, our mind will remain as young for many more years.

The research says that the female you first observe in this illusion is linked to your age, as we stated at the beginning because as we have already seen we can see either a young woman looking to her right or an old woman looking ahead. If you have encountered the second while we were announcing it, you can be in luck, because it means that the features that denote your maturity have not yet manifested, so you're still an unwary young man. They will ask themselves if it really has a scientific basis, and yes, we will go to it next.

People between 18 and 30 tend to see the young woman in the initial look, while those over 30 will observe the grandmother. Regardless of age, everyone is able to see the other version after a small moment of analysis, although it is the first impression that gives us an idea about the mentality we have and if it is also in accordance with our physical body. Do not rejoice, because, in reality, it is only a perceptive issue that could also change with the mood, health, one's own personality or even the experiences lived.

The study concludes by expressing "the biases of each age affect how the subconscious faces perception". This means that depending on the age that each one has, it modifies the way in which we see the world, trying to identify each image in a way that adapts to our daily reality. We identify values, clothes, fashions and even small traits to which we are accustomed, so it is also important to keep in mind that it could vary depending on our lifestyle or who we usually interact with.

This illusion is based on facial perception: whether you look at the girl or the old woman, you can only see one at a time. This is the explanation of why we cannot see both at first, but that our brain has to "change the way we see" in order to find the next hidden person. But if you are still waiting for the explanation of why age effects and not only the perception of our brain, stay tuned to our lines, since we are going to try to explain it in a simple way. Do you remember which one you chose at the beginning? Here we go with the explanation.

Whenever we see a drawing, we try to complete the information that is needed in it, arriving in some cases to "imagine" the missing parts or to draw in our mind what is needed to make sense of it. With the passage of time, this translates into that we come to invent the data that we need in order to complete a drawing until it adapts to our reality. Therefore, when we come across this image, we will try to see what we really want to see in it. Next, we will explain what is hidden, in case one has not seen both versions.

The chin of the young girl is outlined creating the nose of the "mother-in-law", and in turn, the chin of the old woman just gives shape to the breast of the girl. The element that most attracts attention is the kind of choker of the most jovial, which at the same time are the lips of which is already in years. Of course, this also depends on the own perception of the fashions of each country, since not in all the world the elements of the drawing would be recognizable. Had you been able to discover both figures if we had not revealed them to you? Wait to see the other surprises we have for you.

If you ever asked yourself why you saw one or the other, the Australian study generated by two psychology teachers concluded that it had to do with your age. Both experts analyzed the response of several individuals according to their own personal conditions and, after conducting the investigation, they developed the theory that unified the mindset of the subjects. The answer was quite surprising because it also served to understand the human psyche perfectly. Each person had enough time to find their own version, but practically all agreed with the same response from their own block.

Below, we will show the tests and the candidates who underwent visual tests to try to prove the theory. Not only the figure of the two women was used, but different drawings were used that contained a similar and ambiguous reality, in which depending on what you lived in that moment you could find one or the other perspective. The surprising thing is that at no time was he warned about the reason for the test, to ensure that no one tried to cheat, however, the conclusion was accepted worldwide.

The research was assisted by 393 individuals. 242 of them were male and 141 were female. Although the number was not even, it was assumed that both groups had a high enough number to serve as control and return a response according to each group. It was also tried not to find a group as heterogenic, in order to avoid factors such as education, standards of living or external effects could alter the desired response. Despite this, some considered it too small to be certain. It would, therefore, be only a first step.

The average age of the general count of participants was 32 years, with people from 18 to 68 years old. All the data were entered in each of the responses in order to be able to manage the parameters and give an appropriate conclusion. Finally, it seems that more than gender was the age that determined the type of image that we could find at first glance. The process was quite simple and loaded with considerable interest on the part of all the subjects who participated in the study. The conclusion was to serve to determine the way to act for issues such as advertising or marketing.

In the experiment, each person was given a series of ambiguous images that they had to analyze during an exceptionally short time. Specifically, we talked about what they could use up to half a second in each of them. This, of course, will seem like an exaggeration, since no one would even be able to find the first of the images at that time. However, our brain would have had enough time to do it. Of course, everything was based on the average times our brain needs to analyze an image without being able to find double meanings, it was not something arbitrary.

Later they were asked about the gender and age of the being they observed in the illustration. Each person was free to say what they thought, without ever being told that it could be related to factors such as gender, hidden animals or their own age. We sought answers that were not influenced by anything or anyone. The final result should be based only on factors such as observation and brain response of each individual since the reliability of the study depended on it. The conclusion that was obtained helped us to perceive how the brain prepares for old age at 30.

Many of the men detected the girl, but most of them did not reach 30. Of course, there were always cases in which exceptions occurred, but the vast majority determined that they had found an old woman if her age was greater than 30. We cannot forget that there were also people older than 60 and younger than 20, so the realities were very different depending on each individual. There were also other elements that surprised the researchers.

In a second part of the research, the oldest and the youngest were searched, with the clear intention of faithfully demonstrating their response. Specifically, they chose the 10% youngest and the 10% oldest of each of the groups, with the intention of creating a clear control group that could serve as a special measure. Later the oldest 10% of the participants were selected, and 10% younger, to ask them again for another series of images of the same type and without revealing what was still being sought in each test.

That is how they realized that almost always young people perceived the girl and the older group perceived the old woman. This was the explanation that seemed more logical since each one would see what he is accustomed to meeting daily. The answer could not be more indicated to give rise to the study. Although of course, it was still necessary to explain to the participants the reason that had brought them together and to ask them the answer to their curious test. Those over 30 had defined themselves as mentally elderly without knowing it.

The analysis tried to prove the theory that says the mental biases of age, deep irrational deviations in our thinking that also seem to influence our perception. In order to explain it, they used one of the oldest examples, a very popular sketch that today continues to serve as the basis for the study. The oldest version of this popular ambiguous drawing appeared in a German postcard of the late nineteenth century. Despite being a real landmark, it was not until later that the one we all know appeared.

In fact, the sketch that we all know was created by the British artist William Ely Hill and appeared in the American magazine "Puck" on November 6, 1915. Since then, all kinds of adaptations, similar effects, and even parodies have been made. who could be said to be the dean of visual effects of this types! Of course, now we can only see it as proof that our brain could be aging without us knowing it. What appeared to you? Are you young or old?

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