Prosopometamorphopsia causes people to see faces as distorted and "demonic"

Check out these images showing how one man with prosopometamorphopsia sees faces: distorted, "demonic", like Oblivion elves or the subjects of that Tik Tok cosmetic surgeon everyone's talking about. The condition is sudden-onset and usually passes quickly, but some people's perception is warped for years. Victor Sharrah experienced it in-person but not with photos, allowing artists to generate these images. Other people with it report assymetric or reptilian qualities.

That gave scientists an opportunity to visualize what the warped faces look like for a person with PMO, something they had never been able to do before. Researchers at Dartmouth College created a digital representation of what Sharrah has been experiencing. The resulting images were published Thursday in The Lancet. 

To create the visuals, the researchers asked Sharrah to describe the differences between photographs of people's faces and the real-life people standing in front of him. The researchers then used image-editing software to modify the pictures to match Sharrah's description.

Here's the paper: Visualising facial distortions in prosopometamorphopsia [Lancet]

Heavy Passport to Magonia vibes. David Szymanski:

One of the most frightening things I've ever heard is when someone pointed out that the existence of the uncanny valley implies that at some point there was an evolutionary reason to be afraid of something that looked human but wasn't.

The flashed face illusion (embedded below) seems relevant.