Generation of a Spiral After-effect by Interaction of Rods and Cones


THE well-known spiral after-effect can be generated by looking for some time at a rotating, apparently contracting spiral. When the spiral is stopped it appears to expand outwards. It appears that both rods and cones are able to mediate this effect: Wohlgemuth1 observed the effect in both the light-adapted and the dark-adapted eye, and also in the foveal and peripheral retina. The dark-adapted and peripheral effects, presumably mediated by the rods, are brisker but briefer than the light-adapted and foveal effects mediated by the cones.

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  1. 1

    Wohlgemuth, A., Brit. J. Psychol., Mon. Suppl. 1 (1911).

  2. 2

    Granit, R., Brit. J. Psychol., 19, 147 (1928).

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    Grindley, G. C., J. Physiol., 69, 53 (1930).

  4. 4

    Anstis, S. M., Nature, 201, 952 (1964).

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ANSTIS, S. Generation of a Spiral After-effect by Interaction of Rods and Cones. Nature 206, 1069–1070 (1965) doi:10.1038/2061069b0

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