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Aubert effect


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The phenomenon that occurs after fixating one's gaze on an illuminated vertical bar in a dark room for a minute or two and then tilting one's head to one side through an angle of 30 degrees or more. This creates the illusion that the bar is tilted in the opposite direction and shows that the semicircular canals of the vestibular system provide insufficient information for full orientation in the vertical dimension. A stimulus for demonstrating this effect is most easily constructed by placing a battery torch or flashlight in a cardboard box with a vertical slit cut into one of its sides and covered with tissue paper to diffuse the light. [Named after the German physiologist and psychologist Hermann Ludimar (Rudolf) Aubert (1826–92) who first drew attention to it]

Subjects: Psychology.


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