Wednesday, 20 June 2012
The Thatcher effect is a phenomenon where it becomes difficult to detect local feature changes in an upside down face, despite identical changes being obvious in an upright face. It is named after British former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher on whose photograph the effect has been most famously demonstrated.
The Thatcher effect is illustrated by two originally identical photos, which are inverted. The second picture is obviously altered so that the eyes and mouth are vertically flipped, though the changes are not immediately obvious until the image is viewed in normal orientation. This is thought to be due to specific psychological processes involved in face perception which are tuned especially to upright faces.