Scientists have uncovered the mystery of the famous Rorschach ink blots

Scientists have uncovered the mystery of the famous Rorschach ink blots

American scientists measured the fractal complexity of the famous Rorschach ink blots, and found that the simplicity of repetitive patterns is a key factor in why we see so many images.

A fractal is a repeating pattern, like those larger parts. Examples of fractals in nature are snowflakes, blossoms and branches of trees, writes Nature.

The complexity of a fractal is measured by an indicator D, which represents the number of repeating structures in the image. In a straight line without fractals D is equal to one, and at the maximum repetition can reach the target of 2.0. Thus, the closer the value is to one, the more simple the structure is fractal.

A group of scientists from the University of Oregon decided to find out how the complexity of a fractal related to the number of produced images. To do this, the researchers turned to a symmetrical spots used in the last century by the Swiss psychoanalyst-Freudian Hermann Rorschach.

Rorschach created the ten symmetric ink blots in 1921, psychological tests, and asked patients to call the images they saw in the spots.

For simplicity of the experiment, the team of scientists worked with only five spots Rorschach relatively low complexity with exponent D from 1.1 to 1.3. The results showed that the lower the value of D and the structure of the fractal, the more images are able to see people.

The results of the study surprised scientists, who had expected more of the images will generate fractals with D increased from 1.3 to 1.5. As the researchers note, such a level of complexity of a fractal is most often found in nature and helps to reduce stress in people while viewing.

Experts suggest that their work may be useful for the study of the human visual system and improve camouflage materials.