30: Semantics Of Pareidolia

The Semantics of Apophenia Pareidolia

The Bouba-Kiki Effect

Phonology, Onomatopoeia, Geometry, Symmetry!

Apophenia and pareidolia are both psychological phenomenons; the former is attributed to patternicity, the tendency to conjure up meaningful patterns where non exist, a sort of error cognition. The latter is the misperception of visual attributes induced by the stimuli to perceive meanings. In this paper I’ll bridge an abstract contiguity between the phonological sound of lexicons; example, onomatopoeia, and the geometry, symmetry and external contour of objects.

On a fundamental abstract level, the vibration of air molecules through the phonetic production of sound share a relationship with the properties of points, lines, solids, surfaces, and circumferential or axis correspondences. To which I’ll postulate the idea of Apophenia and pareidolia being far more than a cognitive dysfunction or incorrect perception, but more of a demystification of intangible laws predicated by unseen forces.
(Vaguely inexplicable; I’ll accept that notion, indefinitely!)

Our sixth senses are limited within the scope of bandwidths; we hear a range of frequencies between 20 to 20,000 Hz; our visual perception is limited within a tiny scope of the electromagnetic spectrum. Radio waves, microwaves, infrared, ultra violet, X-ray and gamma radiation are invisible electromagnetic radiation; however, science has found that under certain experimental conditions the retina can detect infrared, ecetera! The laws of patternicity and visual attribution is an enigma outside the parameter of human perception.

The bouba-kiki effect suggest that there’s a correlation between the sound of lexicons and the visual shape of objects, the idea emanated after a psychological experiment was done in 1929, by a German-American psychologist. Participants were asked which shapes are “bouba” and which ones are “kiki.” 98% of the participants attributed “bouba” to the curvature shape and “kiki” to the spike shape.

Bouba Kiki Effect suggest that the human brain can correlate abstract properties between sound and shapes, which is of course attributing the tonality of the words “bouba” and “kiki” with “curvy” and “jagged” shapes. If “bouba’s” pronunciation were “kiki,” and “kiki’s” pronunciation were “bouba,” then a sort of ambiguity would emanate, fuzzing the differentiating factors between the sound of the pronunciations and the symmetrical shape of the words.

The only correlative attributes between sound and shapes is an onomatopoeia interpretation of the dispersing sound attributed to the impact of an animate or inanimate object. Indeed both words consist of two syllables that mimic the shapes they’re attributed to, but switching the phonemes or altering the units of the sound changes or shift the effect of the study.

The visual shapes of both lexicons are autologically self-descriptive and constricted to the shapes they’re attributed to; “bouba’s” curvature, roundish, circular shape is in stark contrast to “kiki’s” tallish, sharp-points that lacks the ovality of “bouba.” Meaning the sounds express the properties of the words themselves, and has no relationship to the shapes in the study.

Pareidoia is a phenomenon in where semantics is applied during the perception of vague random objects; prime example is observing a dogs face in the clouds, or extracting shapes and attributing them to meaning. Seeing facial symmetry in inanimate objects may be an evolutionary hard wiring, or possibly a defense mechanism that predates back to our primordial era.

Here’s an image I extracted after seeing the peculiar features of an older male figure rough on the facial edges, arbitrary in its nature and only conducive to our subjective interpretations. There’s a myriad of sentiments, nostalgia, religious or spiritual connotation that can derive from this experience, and the inadvertent, arbitrariness of this empirical experience is just anecdotal and should be embraced as just a law of correlation.

Apophenia, Pareidolia, Psychosis, Schizophrenia

Vibrating Molecules and Elliptical Bubbles
Musical Octaves and Wave-Particle Duality
Smells Velocity Induces Memory Faculty
The Paradox of Light and Sound Induces Synesthesia


The Wave-Medium Dichotomy Between Light and Sound
The Contrasting Distinctions Between Metaphor and Analogy
Thermodynamics and The Industrial Revolution
Analogically Correlating The Third Law of Motion Equilibrium
American History Pervasive With Irony 13th, 14th, 15th Amendment
The Fallibility of Improper Metaphor Congress and Atoms
Sarcasm Phonology, Ambiguity, Semiotics, Semantics etc..
Dramatic, Situational, Verbal, Tragic, Socratic Irony
Apophenia, Pareidolia, Psychosis, Schizophrenia
Synchronicity, Serendipity, Irony, Coincidences
Lexical, Syntactical and Structural Ambiguity
Incongruous Juxtaposition Resolution

Share your views and opinion, please leave a comment below Article Written By: Atelston Fitzgerald Holder 1st
Academic Writer – Journalist – Lecturer
The Harlem Times Ask A Newyorker News Blaze
Musical Composer:
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Copyright 2016

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