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Purkinje shift


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A change in peak sensitivity to light under changing illumination, from wavelengths close to 555 nanometres (green) in photopic (light-adapted) vision to 505 nanometres (blue-green) in scotopic (dark-adapted) vision, resulting from the predominance of cone vision in bright illumination and rod vision in dim illumination. Thus reds, oranges, and yellows appear relatively light in bright illumination whereas blues and greens appear relatively light in dim illumination, as can be demonstrated by finding red and blue objects that appear equally light under bright daylight illumination and then viewing them in twilight or dim illumination, where the red will appear very much darker than the blue. Also called the Purkinje effect or Purkinje phenomenon. Also spelt Purkyně shift. See also Bezold-Brücke phenomenon. [Named after the Czech-born German physiologist Johannes E(vangelista) Purkinje (Purkyně) (1787–1869) who first drew attention to it in 1825 after noticing that in the dim light of early dawn, when one's eyes are usually dark adapted, red flowers look inky black]

Subjects: Psychology.


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