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Instagram and TikTok filters can make our selfies show cat ears, princess crowns, bulging eyes … and in the case of the filter labeled ring me, until we feel dizzy and until we fall. This filter, which simulates us falling to Earth in a loop, over and over again, has been used in more than 35,000 videos on TikTok alone, many of which have more than 1 million views. The reason for success? Although nothing happens in most of the videos, some people say that while using the filter they got dizzy or even fell. Many of the videos that have become the most popular include these fallouts, like this one, created by the author of the filter himself which brings together some of the posts with this effect that have recently been viewed in recent months.
But why does this happen? What is true and what is a pantomime? We’ve tested the filter — many times — and talked with three experts who’ve tried it, too: Susana Martinez, director of the Laboratory of Neuroscience at New York University and an expert on visual illusions. Rocío González, an otolaryngologist who specializes in balance disorders at the Ennequilibrio Clinic; and Rodrigo Castillejos Carrasco-Muñoz, physiotherapist in the balance unit at the ENT Institute in Madrid. They’ve also had the interest and kindness to take tests with their family and friends. These are their conclusions.
Our tests: Few falls, dizziness aplenty
Neither Susana Martinez nor Rocío González nor their family and friends who experienced it fell while using the filter, although many of them claim to have felt dizzy. For my part, I tried it sitting, standing, squatting, in broad daylight, in the dark … and I got very dizzy, but I almost fell under very special circumstances: while standing in front of a motorhome in an open plane (I could see almost my whole body) and leaning A little forward. In this test, my knees gave out, and if I hadn’t put my hands on the table, I would have fallen. Castillejos Carrasco Muñoz also claims to have had this feeling, without even reaching the ground.
“It might work for some people, but the filter is not an extrapolable, repeatable experience,” Martinez muses, though she admits she felt “a little giddy.” If you want to try it out for yourself before reading on, you can do so with this link to use the filter on TikTok:
Why does that happen? Why not everyone?
To explain why this happens, we first have to understand how our sense of balance works: “It’s a chair with three legs: legs, vision and inner ear,” explains Rocío González. “If one of those fails, we’re more settled.”
In this case, Castillejos Carrasco-Muñoz points out that because of the optical flow, the sliding of images on the retina that occurs, for example, when we move the head to one side or when we are on a stopped train, another train starts on the next platform and we suspect which had been moved. “The body uses visual flow to anticipate movements, to distribute the tone of the body’s muscles and to keep us in balance,” he explains. “The filter results in a slice of the image from top to bottom, the same thing we see when, for example, we get up, which makes the muscle tone move to the back muscles.” [extensores de la columna, glúteos, etc]. The front part loses tone and tends to fall forward. That is why in some cases the sensation produced by the filter is that the legs give way forward.
González and Castillejos Carrasco-Muñoz explain that these types of visual effects are used in the rehabilitation of people with balance problems. Here you can see an example.
Another reason that can cause a stumbling block when using the “Loop me” filter is our expectations: these affect our senses, and in general, we expect Personal Photos It reflects a true picture of ourselves, not a picture we fall into. Susana Martinez points out this possibility, and gives an example of this type of optical illusion as mirror therapy of mirrors. Psychologist and neuroscientist VS Ramachandran. If you’re interested, Ramachandran himself explained in this hadith (from 10:45)
Regarding how it affects some people more than others, González gives as an example “what happens in cars or boats, there are those who get dizzy and it will happen often, and those who never get dizzy”. Both she and Castillejos Carrasco Muñoz suggest that it may be related to “visual overdependence, that is, when the object prioritizes visual information and when it is not of good quality and cannot be encoded normally.” [como en patrones de movimiento que se repiten, como en el caso del filtro]resulting in dizziness.
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