Harvard Psychological Studies, Volume 1 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 757 pages of information about Harvard Psychological Studies, Volume 1.

The fact that the bands are not ‘images of the rod’ can be shown by another disc (Fig. 13, Plate VII.).  In all three rings the lighter (green) sector is 60 deg. wide, but disposed on the disc as shown.  The bands are broken into zigzags.  The parts over the outer ring lag behind those over the middle, and these behind those over the inner ring—­’behind,’ that is, farther behind the rod.

Another effective variation is to use rods alike in color with one or the other of the sectors.  Here it is clear that when the rod hides the oppositely-colored sector, the deduction of that color is replaced (not by black, as happens if the rod is black) but by the very color which is already characteristic of that band.  But when the rod hides the sector of its own color, the deduction is replaced by the very same color.  Thus, bands like colored with the rod gain in depth of tone, while the other pure-color bands present simply the fusion-color.


If one produce the illusion by using for rod, not the pendulum of a metronome, but a black cardboard sector on a second color-mixer placed in front of the first and rotating concentrically with it, that is, with the color-disc, one will observe with the higher speeds of the rod which are now obtainable several further phenomena, all of which follow simply from the geometrical relations of disc and rod (now a rotating sector), as discussed above.  The color-mixer in front, which bears the sector (let it still be called a ’rod’), should rotate by hand and independently of the disc behind, whose two sectors are to give the bands.  The sectors of the disc should now be equal, and the rod needs to be broader than before, say 50 deg. or 60 deg., since it is to revolve very rapidly.

First, let the rod and disc rotate in the same direction, the disc at its former rate, while the rod begins slowly and moves faster and faster.  At first there is a confused appearance of vague, radial shadows shuffling to and fro.  This is because the rod is broad and moves slowly (cf. p. 196, paragraph II).

As the velocity of the rod increases, a moment will come when the confusing shadows will resolve themselves into four (sometimes five) radial bands of one color with four of the other color and the appropriate transition-bands between them.  The bands of either color are symmetrically disposed over the disc, that is, they lie at right angles to one another (if there are five bands they lie at angles of 72 deg., etc.).  But this entire system of bands, instead of lying motionless over the disc as did the systems hitherto described, itself rotates rapidly in the opposite direction from disc to rod.  As the rod rotates forward yet faster, no change is seen except that the system of bands moves backward more and more slowly.  Thus, if one rotate the rod with one’s own hand, one has the feeling that the backward movement of the bands is an inverse function of the increase in velocity of the rod.  And, indeed, as this velocity still increases, the bands gradually come to rest, although both the disc and the rod are rotating rapidly.

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Harvard Psychological Studies, Volume 1 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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