Abraham Lincoln effect

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The tendency for a block portrait to be difficult to recognize as a meaningful image when viewed close up but to become more recognizable when viewed from a distance or when blurred by half closing the eyes, for example, loss of information paradoxically increasing the recognizability of the image. See block portrait (and accompanying illustration). [Named by the US biomedical engineer Leon D(avid) Harmon (1922–82) after Abraham Lincoln (1809–65), the 16th US president, whose image he used to construct the first block portrait, published in a technical report in 1971 and in an article in Scientific American magazine in 1973]

Subjects: Psychology.

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