What do you see when you rub your eyes?

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J Spade
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Re: What do you see when you rub your eyes?

Postby J Spade » Tue Nov 27, 2007 3:21 pm UTC

I see darkness, but when I rub hard I get various colors that are there as an after image when I open them again.

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how do you like THESE apples?
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Re: What do you see when you rub your eyes?

Postby latch.r.ite » Thu Nov 29, 2007 5:22 am UTC

Twasbrillig wrote:I see phosphenes. Simple as that.

I was going to say something very similar to that, but I couldn't for the life of me remember what they were actually called. I tip my hat to you.
"He who has a 'why' to live, can bear with almost any 'how'."
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The Ethos
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Re: What do you see when you rub your eyes?

Postby The Ethos » Thu Nov 29, 2007 6:29 am UTC

Sure it's ok to just say phosphenes....but where's the fun in that! Isn't it neat that everyone has slightly different ones?

To share my phosphenes, there are a few....yellow/gray haze, black with purple stars, red checkerboard rotation..

But the best, and the one that always fascinated me as a kid, was the grey/yellow...god...undulating? rotating rectangles? They almost look like prism tessellations..but on top of them, there are these black line images which cycle too quickly for my eye to catch them. I always wanted to be able to draw whatever they were, but they couldn't. Apparently the shapes are fairly constant if you can catch them, and there are papers hypothesizing that primitive cave drawings are these shapes...

http://www.iol.ie/%7Egeniet/eng/hedge.htm - Shapes!

It's not called the prisoner's cinema for nothing.

Thanks for all the input everyone!

/Think you're so clever, calling them phosphenes
//Used to think it was time travel
///Still not that bright :-/
Thanks, and have a Scientastic day! - Dr. Venture

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Re: What do you see when you rub your eyes?

Postby Adamitte » Mon Apr 17, 2017 4:17 pm UTC

With me I first see a yellowish tunnel made of like a bunch of circles or something then after a few seconds I stop seeing the 'tunnel' and I now see this like circle that is hollow in the middle with a black filled with black the yellow will change in the circle and turn a blue colour then back to the Yellow. I don't know why I see this

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Re: What do you see when you rub your eyes?

Postby fygnuten » Sat Oct 06, 2018 3:32 pm UTC

Looks like this thread is dead but...
I have long been interested in this phenomenon, I get migraines, before they start, I can feel pressure of a semi-physical (and thus semi-not-physical) nature. My impression is that this is an overabundance of activity/energy in my brain. If I rub my eyes in the right way, this pressure is relieved and seems to come out in the form of very bright light that gradually dissipates into the geometrical patterns others have described. These gradually fade and I am left with images of what others might be calling "doughnuts" . I have done some checking and I am confident that for me, these shapes are my irises and pupils. When the initial light burst is less, then the pupil is larger and I can see the shapes very sharply and they correspond to the jagged shapes of my iris and pupil.
I get how phosphenes are supposed to work, basically physically triggering optic/retinal structures to react as if hit by light. And so you get vague patterns and colors. This is very different, very specific and sharp. The phosphene patterns seem to scatter upon close inspection where these eye images "hold still" for close inspection, for minutes instead of seconds. Once they dissipate, I usually have less pressure behind my eyes and I am not able to get effect to happen again.

I am curious if anyone has an explanation for how my mind/brain could possibly see clear images of my iris/pupils from rubbing my eyes with my eyelids closed. This seems impossible to me. But my "experiments/observations" have been pretty clear. Anyone?

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