Saturday, May 31, 2014

Brain Science Demonstration From the Photography Blog THEME

I work in brain science. I love it when I find overlaps between my chosen career and my chosen hobby. This one is great.

Here's the experiment that you should perform: Make the image above as large as possible on whatever device you're reading from (an iPad worked well for me). Stare at the red dot on the model's nose for 30 seconds. Now, look at a blank light surface (like a white wall) and blink several times. You'll see the negative image above turn into a positive image. Amazing.

(Click Here) to read the original post on THEME.

So, what's going on here? It's called a negative afterimage. Basically, what happens is that by staring at the negative image long enough, you are saturating some of the photoreceptors (cone receptors, to be exact, those that detect color), but not others. The receptors specifically tuned to the colors in the negative image become saturated, and when that happens, they become less sensitive. Receptors for colors not in the image are not affected. So, when you look at a blank surface, the saturated receptors give you a sense of very low levels of the color you saw in the negative, while colors that are absent appear relatively stronger, giving you the sense of an image with colors opposite to what you looked at.

(Click Here) for a more thorough explanation.

Pretty cool, huh?