People who claim to have been abducted by space aliens seem to invariably describe a very similar picture. Space aliens are described as having large heads, big eyes, gray skin, smooth features and small mouths.

(Mom?)

Psychologist Frederick Malmstrom, currently a visiting scholar at the U.S. Air Force Academy, believes that these 'visions' of space aliens are actually the image of the prototypical female face that is hardwired into every baby human's brain. When Malmstrom altered a picture of a woman in a way consistent with the characteristics of a newborn's vision (astigmatism and a shallow focal plane), the result looked very much like a big-eyed alien.

(Dr. Frederick Malmstrom)

Malmstrom was asked why people see this prototypical mother face, rather than some other important figure. He replied that the answer had to do with the fact that cases of abduction that are considered credible enough to study were those in which abductees reported that they were falling asleep, or were under hypnosis.

For those whose belief systems have been severely shaken by this revelation, consider reading Catholic Belief and Extraterrestrial Intelligent Life; those who would like a bit of distance on this topic might consider reading Find Extraterrestrial Civilizations By Their Works. Reference articles may be found here and here.

(This Science Fiction in the News story used with permission from Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction.)