a device that is generating concepts

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Fractals and neural adaptation

For my followers, sorry for a delay – I was overloaded by exciting projects at work (Intel Electronics), but recently got some time to get back to my hobby of modeling and concepts, so more posts to come soon 🙂

Meanwhile here is a small visual cortex experiment you can do to experience the neural adaptation in a cool way.

For those that are not familiar with the term, this is actually a set of adjustments of neural system to stimuli. The effect is, that once stimuli is removed, the adjustment continues for some time.

There is a lot of info in the web about various effects of visual neural adaptation, like image inversion that we all experience in our childhood, afterimage effect when you continue to see the light object after you close the eyes or motion effect during which the objects continue to move after they actually stop.

The subset effect of the latter I would like to show you here is radial visual adaptation. Have not seen works/material on this particular way, so here it comes 🙂

Attention! Can cause headache and nausea. Not for those that suffer from neural disorders, especially epilepsy!

Experiment: take a look at fractals zoom (e.g. Manderblot set or any other fractal long zoom animation) for couple minutes and then (if you succeed to move your gaze from this beauty) take a look at static screen/picture. You will see that it continues to “squeeze”. The reason for that is visual neural adaptation to radial motion of the fractal zoom, so our cortex is trying to proceed with the same visual transformation on static picture.

You can play with time of exposure to the zooming stimuli and see that there is a non-linear saturating dependency on duration of after-effect. Interesting to do some mass experiment and see wither the tau of saturation varies a lot cross population.

You can also play with the speed (in youtube – right bottom side settings) and experience non-linear correlation to speed. The after-effect magnitude is accelerating with increased stimuli speed, but if it is too fast, then there is a reduction in impact for given exposure time.

You can play with reverse speed (“zoom out”) of the stimuli and experience opposite effect of “expansion” of static picture.

Leave a comment if you have found any other interesting effects and enjoyed the infinite beauty of fractals.