Perception of Visual ITC Images

by Tom Butler
Published in the Fall 2010 ATransC NewsJournal
Also see Butler ITC Gallery 2Butler ITC Gallery 2,  Butler ITC Gallery 3,
and Video-Loop, Visual ITC Recording Technique


In visual Instrumental TransCommunication (Visual ITC), recognizable features are found in what should be only random optical noise. No known physical principles account for the phenomenal features and they may be found in virtually any sufficiently noisy media. The Examples and Techniques sections of this website include several such techniques for capturing the features. This report includes results of an online viewing study in which website visitors were asked to describe what they saw in unmarked visual ITC images.

Of the seven examples, an average of 61% of respondents correctly identified the feature. Each example was presented with original, grayscale and increased contrast versions. The increased contrast version was most often correctly identified.

Question: Will website visitors report seeing same or similar features in visual ITC examples?

caaevp2004_video_setupThis is a study to determine whether or not images recorded in optical-frequency noise can be consistently described. The video-feedback technique was used for all of these examples. As is shown in the diagram, a video camera is pointed at a television screen and the output of the camera is connected to the input of the television so that the camera “sees” what it has just recorded. The camera is usually focused slightly beyond the screen to produce a soft focus image. The zoom, focus and camera presets are adjusted until a “rolling” effect is achieved on the display not unlike the special effect of “warp drive” in the movies.

The recorded video is examined one frame at a time. Those with “interesting” optical texture are “grabbed” and examined with a photo editing program to find the features. An example “interesting” video frame is provided here.

Preliminary Results

 Example Extra detail No or Unrelated Detail Basic Shape Detail Recognized
1 19 or 15% 25 or 19% 68 35 103 or 81%
2 28 or 22% 92 or 72% 28 8 36 or 28%
3 41 or 32% 32 or 25% 43 53 96 or 75%
4 26 or 20% 56 or 44% 46 26 72 or 56%
5 24 or 19% 34 or 27% 47 47 94 or 73%
6 24 or 19% 82 or 64% 23 23 46 or 36%
7 18 or 14% 24 or 19% 51 53 104 or 81%
128 Entries 26% 39% Did not see feature or saw it incorrectly 61% Recognized Correct Detail


Please examine each example and state what you see in the associated text box. Each example has been clipped out of a video frame and is shown in its unaltered form, as an enhanced contrast image and in gray scale. The three versions are intended to help you visualize the feature.

1csocrates2010-111609_18Unaltered clip from video frame 1csocrates2010-111609_18_contrastIncreased contrast 1csocrates2010-111609_18_bwIncreased contrast and grayscale
Example 1: (All three are the same image)  81% correct recognition

What you should see: This is the head of a dog facing toward you and to your left. You can see his eyes and snout. A little of the neck is visible and just a hint of ears. The animal appears to be very alert and appears to have short hair.

2csocrates2010-112309_80Unaltered clip from video frame 2csocrates2010-112309_80_contrastIncreased contrast 2csocrates2010-112309_80_contrast_bwIncreased contrast and grayscale
Example 2: (All three are the same image) 28% correct recognition

What you should see: This is the head of a person facing to your left and looking down a little. His/her left eye is in the middle of the picture and seems to be slanted like an Asian and the nose-brow line seems very strong. He/she appears to be wearing some kind of cloak or ceremonial garb. The person seems to have dark hair put up in some kind of formal arrangement or he/she may be wearing a hat of some kind. The overall impression is of an oriental warrior or nobility.

Depending on how you look at this one, there are several pretty dominant faces. They show up mostly in the black and white version.

3csocrates2010-112309_63Unaltered clip from video frame 3csocrates2010-112309_63_contrastIncreased contrast 3csocrates2010-112309_63_contrast_bwIncreased contrast and grayscale
Example 3: (All three are the same image) 75% correct recognition

What you should see: This is the head of a person facing to your left and visible from the chest up. It is not clear if this is a male or female, but my guess is male. The blue area is his coat and it seems he might be wearing a white coat and shirt with a bow tie. He may have something like an animal in his left (your right) hand. He appears to have a dark beard and dark hair.

4csocrates2010-012510_25Unaltered clip from video frame 4csocrates2010-012510_25_contrastIncreased contrast 4csocrates2010-012510_25_contrast_bwIncreased contrast and grayscale
Example 4: (All three are the same image) 56% correct recognition

What you should see: This is the head of a man facing to your right and tilted slightly down. You see him from the chest up, but his pointed chin almost touches the bottom of the frame. He has prominent cheeks and is smiling so that he seems to have a large but evil laugh. His chin, nose, cheeks and temples are bright areas. It would seem he has no teeth to fill out his face.

5csocrates2010-20810_11Unaltered clip from video frame 5csocrates2010-20810_11_contrastIncreased contrast 5csocrates2010-20810_11_contrast_bwIncreased contrast and grayscale
Example 5: (All three are the same image) 73% correct recognition

What you should see: This is the head of a man facing to your right and tilted slightly down and to the right. The nose is prominent as a long bright line right of middle. The bright section at top appears to be top-illuminated hair. Like the nose, the right (your left) cheek is brighter as is the side of what looks like a full beard as if the same light source is shining on those areas. The man has a long face and seems to be more like a biblical character than like a businessman.

6csocrates2010-20810_18Unaltered clip from video frame 6csocrates2010-20810_18_contrastIncreased contrast 6csocrates2010-20810_18_contrast_bwIncreased contrast and grayscale
Example 6: (All three are the same image) 36% correct recognition

What you should see: This is a person visible from the chest up. It may be a woman or a man. Since he seems to have a dark shadow of a beard, I will say he is a man. He is facing to your left. The green areas seem to mark the lapel of a reddish coat. He has long black hair that appears to be combed around some kind of hat. The hat seems like a too small derby, which is why he may be a clown.

7csocrates2010-011810_011Unaltered clip from video frame 7csocrates2010-011810_011_contrastIncreased contrast 7csocrates2010-011810_011_contrast_bwIncreased contrast and grayscale
Example 7: (All three are the same image) 81% correct recognition

What you should see: This is a head facing to your left. It is a profile from the neck up. The person may be a boy or boyish girl with short hair and appears to be wearing a dark shirt with a white collar like a sweater over a “T” shirt. The hair and face seem to be illuminated from your left and top.

Thank you for participating in this study!

Leave a Reply