Can you see the man in the moon? Learn about pareidolia on this Moment of Science.
Pareidolia is a term from psychology that refers to the tendency in people to perceive a meaningful pattern in a vague（模糊不清的，朦胧的） stimulus（刺激）.
Psychologists note that once your brain has assigned a meaningful pattern to something, it holds onto that interpretation（解释）. But there’s no face on the moon.
East Indian people see a rabbit on the moon; Samoans say it’s a woman weaving; Chinese people see a monkey pounding（捣碎） rice. Because of the previous assignment of a different meaningful pattern, it’s as hard for a Chinese person to see the face at first as for you to see the monkey.
Any time you see a person in a wallpaper（壁纸）stain（污点，污迹）, a ship in the clouds, or a face on Mars, you’re experiencing pareidolia.