I recently purchased Guitar Hero II for my Xbox 360 and just like most people, I play new games like crazy right when I get them. After playing about 5 songs in a row, I noticed that the screen, and anything else I looked at seemed like it was still moving. After watching the colored notes fly by for about 5 minutes at a time, my eyes adjusted and seemed to expect the same movement from everything
else… including my coffee table. Pretty trippy stuff.
The motion after effect (MAE) -is a visual illusion perceived after watching a moving visual stimulus for about a minute and then looking at stationary stimulus. The stationary stimulus appears to move slightly for about 15 seconds, opposite to the direction of the original (physically moving) stimulus. The motion aftereffect is believed to be the result of motion adaptation. – From Wikipedia
If one stares consistently at movement in a particular direction for even a short time, subsequently viewed stationary scenes briefly appear to move in the opposite direction.
This phenomenon was known to the Ancient Greeks, but the first modern report of it is often attributed to Robert Addams (1834), who observed the effect while viewing a waterfall at Foyers in Scotland. The ‘motion after-effect’ can be explained by adaptation in visual neurones that respond selectively to moving contours in the image (see Barlow and Hill, 1963). In the absence of image motion, cells tuned to different directions produce roughly equal responses. Exposure to a particular direction of motion alters this balance in favour of cells tuned to the opposite direction, leading to the illusion. A review of modern research on the phenomenon can be found in Mather et al. (1998).
I wish I could post a video of what it looks like after playing, but I unfortunately can’t record what my eyes are generating. To give you an idea, take a look at this picture. Still Motion The picture is completely still (you know it’s not moving because it is a JPG image – only GIF images can be animated), but it appears to be moving. After playing too much Guitar Hero, I can look at something that is copmletely still (my coffee table) and it appears to be moving. My minds playin’ tricks on me. Does anyone know if this is good or bad? Can it hurt your vision?