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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 18.djvu/538

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY

not explain all the facts of this curious illusion: for, in the first place, it is found that for increasing distances from the eye the concentric rings must be made wider if the illusion is to succeed; there being apparently one particular magnitude of their images on the retinæ which favors the production of the illusion. Again, if two such "strobic circles" (as I have called them) are printed side by side on one card, that set of circles seems to turn most effectively at which the eye is not looking. On stopping the "rinsing motion" suddenly, there appears to be, for an instant, a reverse motion. Finally, if a set of circles is "rotated" while another set lies motionless within the field of view, the second set will appear to rotate when the first are "rotated" in the manner described above. It is possible, also, to have a number of such apparent motions going on at once independently in one field of view. Fig. 2 shows a compound pattern, containing an

Fig. 2.
PSM V18 D538 Compound circles for astigmatism test.jpg

interior set of concentric circles and six internally-toothed wheels. When a very minute "rinsing" motion is imparted to this figure, the circles appear to whirl round while the toothed-wheels work slowly backward, moving through one tooth while the circles whirl round once. Here, again, persistence of vision is concerned—but not exclusively.

Dr. Emile Javal, the able director of the Ophthalmological Laboratory of the Sorbonne, has recently advanced an explanation of these illusions different from that adopted by the writer, and in substance identical with that advanced by R. Addams in the case of the water-fall illusion. He avers that the eye, in order to observe a movement, follows the moving body for an instant and then suddenly slips back; that this oscillation, frequently repeated, is associated with a sensation of motion in the particular direction in question; and that when the