Stare at the dot

This is a lovely and somewhat strange illusion. Stare at the red dot in the left-hand image for about 20 seconds, and then look at the centre of the right-hand image. All being well, lots of strange stuff will happen in your brain…..

via Richard Wiseman Blog

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3 thoughts on “Stare at the dot

  1. thinks says:

    For this to work well, a high definition 26″ screen is needed -like mine 🙂

    Most people will think that the dot, or the fact that it is red, has something to do with the very real visual effect experienced when staring at the right-hand box after staring at the red dot in the left-hand box for 20 seconds.

    In fact, the red dot just serves as an anchor for the eyes. If one had the discipline to keep staring at the center of the left-hand box, the dot would not be needed and the effect would be the same.

    The effect is due to image retention in the retina (the sensors at the back of the eyeball.

    When the image received is of identical shape/structure but of weaker blacks and darker whites, the sensors at the retina take about 0.5 to two seconds to adjust to the new input. During that time their sensitivity causes the signal to the optical nerve to fluctuate, giving the mind the impression that the shape is pulsing form its shaped structure to pure gray. It’s because the sensors at the retina are not as fast to adapt as the optical nerve is fast to transmit information 🙂

  2. thinks says:

    It is almost directly related to the negative afterimage effect, but there’s more to it: When somebody switches off all the lights and suddenly it is almost perfectly dark, the image of what was seen last remains on the retina in the sensors, for a second or two. The brain gives more importance to the centered information rather than the peripheral. Although the sensors are taking their time to discard the information which was exciting them, during that little time the sensors where the image was are still active. That activity, to the brain, is something as opposed to nothing. Nothing has no energy, no presence: it is black. Therefore the afterimage appears as something brighter than black, hence “negative effect” perception.

    This also goes to that article I had written where I compared death to the switching off of an old tv set wiuth the white dot in the middle. As consciousness dies, the afterimage of the mind’s consciousness concentrates in a central constantly diminishing point that is the bright tunnel that some see coming back from momentary death.

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