Negative Afterimage
and Other Visual Experiments


All information on this website is provided "as is" based on my direct visual experience. In no event will Mary Coffin Johnston be liable for any damages arising out of or in connection with the visual experiments suggested on this website due to many unknown factors of readers specific circumstances. Experts state some experiments with light on the eye may result in serious eye damage. Some concerns that anyone interested in doing these visual experiments should consider and use common sense before beginning any visual experiments are:

  • Are you a person who turns down the room light, or wears sunglasses and/or hats to shield the sunlight from your eyes? If so, your eyes have become sensitive to light and to expose stronger light to your eyes should be done gradually and cautiously to enable the visual path neurons adaptation to higher intensity light.

    Personally, I enjoy sunlight and never wear sunglasses or hats. I like dim light as my evening winds down. Research needs to be done with groups sensitive and receptive to light.

  • Iris color plays a role with light on the eyes and ranges from steel blue to coal black solely by the degree of the pigment, melanin, which is a matter of genetics. Melanin is the same pigment that gives color to the skin when exposed to sunlight. Albinos have little or no melanin in their skin, hair, and eyes and are very sensitive to light. Blue-eyed persons have small amounts of melanin in their iris. Larger varing amounts of melanin give people green, hazel, or grey eyes. The largest amount of melanin is found in brown-eyed and black-eyed persons. In addition to giving iris color, melanin helps protect the eye from excessive light by absorbing stray light entering the eye: otherwise, the image would fade on the retina.

    An albino should NOT attempt these visual experiments. My eyes are brown. Research needs to be done on the different colored iris groups and determine exactly what they see due to varing amounts of light absorption, as well as, to see what changes may occur to the iris colors like the sun darkens the skin.

  • Mary Killredge states that in "macular degeneration, the center of the retina is damaged by heat from light entering the eye; this occurs mostly in elderly persons whose eyes have been absorbing light and heat for many years" (Killredge, Encyclopedia of Health--The Senses., p. 42).

    Furthermore, University of London's Professor John Marshall suggested degenerative eye diseases are perhaps the result of the nondividing rods and cones, absorbing an excess amount of UV radiation over a person's lifetime (Marshall, Light and the Aging Eye, p. 406-418) But, in opposition, experiments and observations by Dr. John Ott show the effects of specific wavelengths of light on plants and animal cells. Ott also found that pigment epithelium cells would divide with the presence of ultraviolet radiation. Would UV light have the same cell dividing effect on humans?

    Check out this interesting website regarding heat from light or excess UV radiation being absorbed by the eye's neurons. See Sungazing. This site suggests that the eye is not just a window for electromagnetic energy's path but also the mouth for the body's nutritional food of light.

  • One particular experiment using an absolute steady gaze at a light bulb when I was interested in analyzing the flow of color changes within the negative afterimage gave me some concern. After light experiments for two hours, I then watched TV through the open-eyed light bulb negative afterimage that wouldn't fade away. Yes, I was fearful that I would spend the rest of my life looking at the world through an enlarged light bulb negative afterimage! It took approximately two hours for the light bulb negative afterimage to fade away. I decided two hours was too long to experiment directly on a high intensity light bulb.

    Was the high intensity light/heat burning bulb visual signals on my retina? Or another interesting new theory that I'm drawn to is Gary Schwartz and Linda Russek, "systems memory process," in which "feedback is fundamental...and a dynamic process that takes place and evolves over time" (Gary Schwartz/Russek, The Living Energy Universe, p. 206).

    Plus, physicist Frithof Capra's conclusion that "Self-organizing systems not only have the tendency to maintain themselves in their state of dynamic balance but also show the opposite, yet complementary, tendency to transcend themselves to reach out creatively beyond their boundaries and generate new structures and new forms of organization. ...Forces inherent in every living organisms can work in two different directions. After a disturbance, the organism may return, more or less, to its previous state through various processes of self-maintenance. ...The organism may also undergo a process of self-transformation and self-transcendence, involving states of crises and transition and resulting in an entire new state of balance" (Capra, Uncommon Wisdom, p. 203-4). I believe that the feedback memory system was effective as my visual system underwent a process of self transformation resulting in a new state of balance (vivid, dominant, and controlled negative afterimages) and through various processes of self-maintenance returned to its normal state.

  • Recently, I came across a 40ish and a two year old whose pupils were very large and wide open beyond normal which is said to be a condition of nerve depletion and exhaustion. Only a small band of iris showed and the pupil appeared never to decrease in size. This condition was not caused by the use of certain drugs.

    Also, tension or stress affects the pupil size, therefore the rate at which the pupil responds to light intensities is also affected.

    If you have the condition of nerve depletion and exhaustion or major stresses that affect pupil size, I recommend NOT doing these high intensity visual exercises and experiments.

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