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ina, but every change in the retina appears, by projection, in the field of view.

This experiment may be made in an infinite variety of ways. If at night we gaze steadily at a candle- or lamp-flame, or flame of any kind, and then turn away and look at the wall, we see a vivid colored spectrum of the flame, which gradually changes its color and fades away. In my own case, on shutting the eyes, the spectrum is first bright yellow, with deep-red border and dark olive-green corona; then it becomes greenishyellow, and then green with red border, then red with indigo border, and so fades away. With the eyes open the changes are slightly different, and in some stages are complementary to the preceding. Again, if we look a moment through a window at a bright sky, and then quickly turn the eye to the wall, we will see a faint spectrum of the window with all its bars projected against the wall. If we look intently and steadily at any object strongly differentiated from the rest of the wall of a room, as a small picture-frame or a clock, then look to some other part of the wall, the spectrum of the object will be seen on the wall and follow the eye in its motions. This experiment succeeds best when we are just waked up in the morning, and while the retina is still sensitive from long rest.

The experiment may be varied thus: Lay a small patch of vermilion red-such as a red wafer-on a white sheet of paper, and gaze steadily at it in a strong light for a considerable time, and then turn the eye to some other part of the paper. A spectrum of the wafer will be seen, because every difference in the retina will appear as a corresponding difference in the field. It will be observed, also, that the spectrum will be bluish-green, i. e., complementary to the red of the

object. The reason seems to be that the long impression of the red produces a profounder change, or fatigue, in those rods or cones, or those portions of the cones, which co-vibrate with red; therefore, when we look elsewhere, of the different colors which make up white light, the retina is least sensitive to red, and therefore the other rays will predominate. Now these other rays, which with red make up white light, are what are called complementary to red. A mixture of these makes a bluish-green. It is difficult, however, to account for all the phenomena of the colors of spectra by this "law of fatigue." The fact is, the retina is not a mere passive sensitive screen, like an iodized plate. Like all living tissue it has a self-activity of its own. Spectral images are seen on dark as well as on light fields—with the eyes shut as well as open. The retina will make images of its own, even without any external stimulus. The dark field is itself an evidence of such intrinsic activity.

Complementary spectra may be still more beautifully seen by gazing on the brilliant contrasted colors of a stained-glass window, and then turning the eyes on a white wall. The whole pattern of the window will be distinctly seen in complementary colors. We are not now, however, discussing the colors of these spectra, but only their projection into space.

Let it be observed here how differently spectral images behave from objects. When we move the eyes about, the images of objects move about on the retina, but the objects seem to remain unmoved. Spectral impressions on the retina, on the contrary, remain in the same place on the retina, and therefore their external images follow the motions of the eye.

We are now prepared to generalize from these observations. It is evident that what we call the field of

view is naught else than the external projection into space of retinal states. All variations of state of the one, whether they be images, or shadows, or brands, or mechanical irritation, whether they be normal or abnormal, are faithfully reproduced as corresponding variations of appearances in the other. This sense of an external visual field is ineradicable. If we shut our eyes, still the field is there, and still it represents the state of the retina. With the eyes open, we call it the field of view, filled with objects; with the eyes shut, it is the field of darkness-visible, palpable darkness, without visible objects. The one is the outward projection of the active state of the retina, crowded with its retinal images; the other is the outward projection of the comparatively passive state of the retina, without definite images. When we shut our eyes, or stand with eyes open in a perfectly dark room, the field of darkness is an actual visible field, the outlines of which we can, at least imperfectly, mark out. It is wholly different from a simple absence of visual impression. We see a dark field in front, but nothing at all behind the head. The dark field is also quite different from blackIf we must describe it as of any color, we should say that it is a dark grayish or brownish field, full of irregular, confused, and ever-shifting lines and cloudings. If the retina has been previously strongly impressed, spectra are seen on this dark background when the eyes are shut. When the eyes are open, the same spectra are seen on the bright ground of the sky or wall, and the difference of the background makes the difference of the color of the spectra in the two cases. This sense of a field, although we see nothing in it, may be compared to our sense of a hand although we feel nothing with it.


Now the same inherent activity of the retina which produces the sense of a dark field with its confused markings and cloudings, will also, under certain circumstances of peculiar sensitiveness of the retina, as after complete rest in the early morning, give rise spontaneously to more definite spectra, often of beautiful colors. I have often, in bed in the morning, watched with eyes shut these splendid spectra, consisting of a colored patch surrounded with a border of complementary color, each color closing in on the center and so vanishing, while another border commences on the outside to close in in the same way. Thus, just as impressions or images made normally on the retina by actual objects from without are projected into the field of view and seen there as the true signs of objects, even so impressions made on the retina abnormally from within, by the mind or imagination, are also sometimes projected outward, and become the delusive signs of external objects having no existence. It is thus that the diseased brain gives rise to delusive visual phenomena.

Second Law of Vision.—Law of Visible Direction.— Corresponding Points, Retinal and Spatial. We have already alluded to a particular direction of projection. We now define this direction more perfectly as a law. The direction of external projection may be exactly, or nearly exactly, defined as follows:

We have seen that the central ray of each radiant passes straight through the nodal point of the lens without deviation to the retina. Neglecting all other rays as not concerning us here, we will consider these central rays alone. Since they all pass through the nodal point, they must cross one another at that point. It is evident, then, that every point-every rod and cone— of the retina has its invariable correspondent in the

visual field, and vice versa. These two points, retinal and spatial, exchange with one another by impression and external reference along the straight lines connecting. This is represented by the diagram (Fig. 27), in which SS and

FIG. 27.

RR represent the spatial and retinal concaves

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crocosm with straight lines of e rays of light connecting. A

ray from a point din space passes in a straight line through the nodal point ng and strikes a certain retinal rod d; that impression is projected by the rod end on, or nearly so-is referred back

along the ray-line, or nearly so,* to the place whence it came. A mere inspection of the figure is sufficient to show that the position of all retinal images must be the

*These two expressions, "end on" and "back along the ray-line," are not synonymous, especially for the extreme margins of the field of view. Either of them are sufficiently near the truth for my purрозе. Probably the former is most exact, at least for the retinal margins.






--a sort of ma

crocosm and mi

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