Matrixing–or pareidolia–is the name given to the way the human brain sometimes fools the eyes into seeing things. Or as explained in scientific terms:
Pareidolia (paeri'douliə/ parr-i-DOH-lee-ə) is a psychological phenomenon involving a vague and random stimulus (often an image or sound) being perceived as significant. Common examples include seeing images of animals or faces in clouds, the man in the moon or the Moon rabbit, and hearing hidden messages on records when played in reverse.
The word comes from the Greek words para (παρά, "beside, alongside, instead [of]") in this context meaning something faulty or wrong; and the noun eidōlon (εἴδωλον "image, form, shape"), the diminutive of eidos. Pareidolia is a type of apophenia, seeing patterns in random data.
In the world of paranormal investigation, however, matrixing is a double-edged sword. It is one of the debunking tools applied to possible paranormal photographs. Particularly when those images involve glass.
We want you to look at the next image. Closely. Tell me how many figures or faces (if any) you can find in it. We’ll get back to it in just a moment. Please suffer through a little science first; it will give you a better understanding.
“Holy” figures in surprising places or shapes in clouds are occasionally considered matrixing, But, (and we love this one!) what most people don’t know is even the scientific community uses a sort of directed matrixing: Rorschach ink blot tests. Surprised you there, didn’t we? And that one’s not a joke.
The most basic explanation we can come up with for matrixing is that recognizing other humans (particularly faces of parents) is the first skill a baby learns. It’s so deeply ingrained in the psyche–and maybe our DNA–that it remains operative on an unconscious level throughout our lives. Pattern recognition of this sort is also a survival tool; it allowed earliest humans a way to spot predators in hiding.