Quickly fading afterimages: hierarchical adaptations in human perception

  • Afterimages result from a prolonged exposure to still visual stimuli. They are best detectable when viewed against uniform backgrounds and can persist for multiple seconds. Consequently, the dynamics of afterimages appears to be slow by their very nature. To the contrary, we report here that about 50% of an afterimage intensity can be erased rapidly—within less than a second. The prerequisite is that subjects view a rich visual content to erase the afterimage; fast erasure of afterimages does not occur if subjects view a blank screen. Moreover, we find evidence that fast removal of afterimages is a skill learned with practice as our subjects were always more effective in cleaning up afterimages in later parts of the experiment. These results can be explained by a tri-level hierarchy of adaptive mechanisms, as has been proposed by the theory of practopoiesis.

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Author:Madeline E. KlingerORCiD, Christian A. KellORCiDGND, Danko NikolićORCiDGND
Parent Title (English):bioRxiv
Document Type:Preprint
Date of Publication (online):2019/06/10
Date of first Publication:2019/06/10
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2023/04/20
Page Number:13
Institutes:Wissenschaftliche Zentren und koordinierte Programme / Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies (FIAS)
Angeschlossene und kooperierende Institutionen / MPI für Hirnforschung
Dewey Decimal Classification:1 Philosophie und Psychologie / 15 Psychologie / 150 Psychologie
6 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / 61 Medizin und Gesundheit / 610 Medizin und Gesundheit
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - CC BY-NC-ND - Namensnennung - Nicht kommerziell - Keine Bearbeitungen 4.0 International