Saturday, June 03, 2006

Neurologically Freaky Dollie

I saw this picture during an image search, and for some reason found it striking. The issue might be partially neurological, since there is evidence that specific brain areas track different body features, especially faces.
(There is a good historical summary of this in PDF: Charles G. Gross. Processing the Facial Image: A Brief History. American Psychologist, Nov. 2005, p. 755ff).

This might also explain why some people freak out when they see clown faces. Perhaps the facial recognition module is overly active or just plain more sensitive in these people than in otherwise normal humans. I don't have Coulrophobia, so that stuff doesn't scare me, but me dollie here is freaky nonetheless. There has also been some discussion recently on why people often find robots creepy. Perhaps it's a hybrid problem that shares neurocognitive features of both dollie weirdness and clown weirdness.


At 1:28 AM, Anonymous woofmutt said...

I encountered a bin of doll arms and legs at Archie McPhee's last weeK and can tell you that a bucket of baby limbs is a very unsettling image. I was tempted to buy some and leave them in random places so as to share the experience with others.

At 11:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dip them in dried campbell's soup base over and over like candle wax on a wick, then add ketchup on the ends, and deliver that that scream-and-run thrill to unsuspecting "finders." On second thought, don't. It would be too cruel.

At 4:24 PM, Blogger Campbell said...

is it possible that the freakiness of the decapitated baby doll is also due to a mental association that babies should not be de-parted. Could this be similar with the clowns? An association that people's faces should not look like that? Possibly an association with evil? Or would this association be due to the overly sensitive neurological triggers?

At 10:42 PM, Blogger John said...

Perhaps each of you are overthinking this....

It is a doll.

Now clowns are a different story!


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