Stare for too long and..

There’s a psychological phenomenon called “semantic satiation”. It usually happens when you repeat a certain word too many times over, and the word temporarily loses its meaning. Other times, it begins to appear foreign to your internal lexicon, as if it were somehow spelled wrongly. So in the same way, when you look at a photograph of a friend for too long, he or she may begin to appear like a stranger. It’s a feather-light feeling of dissociation, of disconnect – one which Nabokov had quite concisely described in his short story, Terror. Might this then be called, “facial satiation”?

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