Cheshire Cat effect

Quick Reference

A form of binocular rivalry in which a moving object seen by one eye renders invisible a stationary object in the same region of the visual field seen by the other eye. The effect can be demonstrated vividly by dividing the visual field with a mirror held edge-on in front of the nose at a slight angle, so that one eye looks straight at a stationary object, such as a sleeping cat, while the other sees a reflection of stationary objects in another part of the environment. If a hand is then waved about on the mirror side, in the region of the visual field where the cat is seen with the other eye, then part or the whole of the cat disappears. [Named after an episode at the end of Chapter 6 of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, the pen name of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (1832–98), in which the Cheshire Cat ‘vanished quite slowly, beginning with the end of the tail, and ending with the grin, which remained some time after the rest of it had gone’]

Subjects: Psychology.

Reference entries