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March 28, 2006

on the theme of illusion

an extremely effective visual illusion/ eye receptor anomaly...

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Comments (9)

These kinds of links makes me afraid for myself. What else am I missing in my life?!

Posted by: A at March 28, 2006 10:46 AM


Posted by: Ma'at's Feather [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 28, 2006 12:24 PM

ah yes, i've seen this before...

hey, are you familiar with the stumble-upon software thingy?

because this pink dot thing has been popping up on there a lot. it's prettay cool, both the dots and the software. (it's how i found ur site too! yaay!) check out stumbleupon.com (or whatever the url is...) i even "stumbled upon" this site where you can do an online autopsy, and there's a site with instructions on how to cheat The Rorschach Test, that test that your psychiatrist gives you to check if you've got any mental disorders.

it came in handy in my case, anyway...


Posted by: stephasaurus [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 28, 2006 2:20 PM

This illusion is like as unto an fascination unto mine eyes. Blessings to you for sharing it with us and ours.

Posted by: prozim at March 28, 2006 2:30 PM

This is why pilots must constantly scan back and forth on the horizon. The brain fills in anomalies in a constant field.

Posted by: vortech [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 28, 2006 4:44 PM

If with a few moving dots I get this mesmerizing optical illusion, what do I get when I watch Fox News?

Posted by: gillo at March 29, 2006 7:16 AM

Vortech, I'm not quite sure what you mean by "the brain fills in anomalies in a constant field". Could you elaborate?

I think this is a much lower level process (or actually, a few different things are going on here). There's the fact that the mind attenuates to the pink dots, and since they aren't different, they slowly fade from our field of vision (I can't remember if it's a fatigue of the receptors themselves, or if it's a cortical function, say V1 or V2.) On the photoreceptor/cone level in the retina there is a process where the color we perceived is activated because that color hits the retina, but the opposing color (in this case green) is also activated. When the pink stimulus goes away, the 'ghost' image of green remains as the green sensitive cones are all stimulated out of their gourds (but are inhibited while pink is hitting this particular field, in a excitatory/inhibatory center-surround configuration). So you see an afterimage of green!

What's cool about this is that the eye gets used to the pink dots, deems them not interesting, fades them, yet the low level receptor cells STILL see the after image of green, and that *is* new!

I wish I was a few years closer to my degree so I could exlain this better. I've forgotten so much of it, but it is absolutely facinating stuff. We never see what is really out there, we do the best we have with flawed optics, a 2D retina, and huge cognitive assumptions that help us make sense out of a noisy, constantly changing, three dimentional world. :^)

Posted by: K at March 29, 2006 11:56 AM

So cool. I sort of understand it, but couldn't have predicted it.

Posted by: Rob at March 29, 2006 2:47 PM

That was awesome!! I was totally, like, awed. Like, so awed my English flew out the window. Wow.

Posted by: divisionbiscuit at March 30, 2006 10:09 AM

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