autokinetic effect

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The apparent movement of a stationary point of light when viewed in a totally dark environment, resulting from physiological nystagmus that the visual system cannot compensate for in the absence of any visible frame of reference. Also called the autokinetic phenomenon or the autokinetic illusion (AKI). [Coined in 1887 by the German physiologist and psychologist Hermann Aubert (1826–92) from Greek autos self + kinetikos of or relating to motion, from kineein to move or kinesis movement + -ikos of, relating to, or resembling]

Subjects: Psychology.

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