Benham's Disk

BENHAM'S DISK is a 22-inch diameter black and white disk, which hangs on the wall. Half of the disk is black; the other half is a broken series of black and white lines. If you start the disk spinning, you can see colors. The colors depend on your own perception, and on how fast and in which direction the disk is spinning. While nobody knows for certain why the colors appear, lateral inhibition and the different rates of stimulation for the color-sensitive cells of the retina are involved.

The cells of the retina code the pattern of light in space and time into patterns of nerve firings in space and time.


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