Cf. Muensterberg, H.:
‘Grundzuege d. Psychologie,’ Bd.
Leipzig, 1900, S. 532.
But where, now, the subject is occupied in mentally tracing the boundaries of one of his two images he must inhibit all motor innervations incompatible with the innervations which condition such tracing: the rival process must cease, and the rival image will fade. He may, it is true, include both images in the same mental sweep. The boundary line is not the only possible line of movement. In fact, we may regard this more comprehensive glance as equivalent to an enlargement of the boundaries so as to include different mental objects, instead of different parts of but one. Or, since the delimitation of our ‘objects’ varies with our attitude or aim, we may call it an enlargement of the object. But in any case the mental tracing of a particular boundary or particular spatial dimensions seems to condition the sense of the corresponding content, and through inhibition of inconsistent movements to inhibit the sense of a different content. No measure of the span of consciousness can, of course, be found in these reports. The movements of the attention are subtle and swift, and there was nothing in the form of the experiments to determine at any precise instant its actual scope. All we need assume, therefore, when the images are said to be seen together, is that neither has, for the time being, any advantage over the other in drawing attention to itself. If in the complete observation, however, any such advantage appears, we may treat it as a case of inhibition. By definition, an idea which assumes a place in consciousness which but for itself, as experiment indicates, another might occupy, inhibits the other.
[Illustration: FIG. 3.]