You might be familiar with Pareidolia, “a perception of recognizable patterns or images from random external stimuli.” This is a common tendency of the mind to create meaning out of otherwise meaningless shape — most commonly what’s perceived are faces, and this tendency appears more in those with Lewy Body Dementia. One study found that patients with Parkinson’s disease often experienced pareidolia related to anxiety. Persons with LBD “had more pareidolic illusions compared to patients with Alzheimer’s disease or healthy controls and could be a clinical marker differentiating Alzheimer’s from LBD.”

To me, this is very interesting, but not really a surprise, and is consistent with what I’ve experienced. I suspect that many of the hallucinatory experiences persons with LBD have are related to this phenomenon, rather than being entirely created without stimuli that “suggests” an element of the hallucination.

What do you think?

Here’s to more clarity and understanding! Read the full Pareidolia article, or s PDF of this article from Psychology Today.

Strength and courage to all.
Timothy Hudson

Pareidolia: Does this contribute to some hallucinations in Lewy Body Dementia?

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