Unity of mask and body

When the mask and the body appear to be made of the same living material, the observer experiences a “click” of recognition, rather like that which one experiences with optical illusions. This effect is deeply rooted in our biology, and is even observable in animals.

Because of this, if one approaches a research of the mask with no other tool than to look for this "click" of recognition, one will make similar discoveries independent of the researcher's culture.

Children and animals will react very differently to a mask that is held in the hand, compared to when they see it placed over the face.

The human eye does not see in pixels. Movements have a visual quality of their own that the eye is quick to encode. For instance our peripheral vision is much more sensitive to movement than it is to the object that is moving. An extreme example in nature is the frog’s eye, which cannot see a fly that is not flying, and will starve if surrounded by juicy but motionless flies.

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Jonathan Paul Cook © 2010