Negative Afterimage
and Other Visual Experiments

Comments & Questions

Visual mysteries present many teasing glimpses of seemingly impenetrable hidden mysteries. The mechanics of my experience is not enough! It is going to take all of us to alter, modify, and/or improve my theories.
--Mary Johnston

Please submit your questions and comments in the contact form at the bottom of this page.

Some interesting emails have been received and viewer responses will be updated periodically. If you have questions, comments, ideas, or thoughts to share, don't hesitate to email and share with other like-minded viewers.

RE: Binocular Disparity
Viewer: Christopher Tyler

I admire the tenacity of your researches into visual processes. I was the inventor of the random-dot autostereogram (what you are calling a stereogram). You have a moderate understanding of how they work, but you need to focus on the question of the binocular disparity generated locally at each point in the field when they are viewed with cross-eyed vision.

Response by Mary Johnston
RETHINK EVERYTHING, is my opinion. I'm drawn back to Frithof Capra's conclusion: "Self-organizing systems not only have the tendency to maintain themselves in their state of dynamic balance but also show the opposite, yet complementary, tendency to transcend themselves to reach out creatively beyond their boundaries and generate new structures and new forms of organization. ... Forces inherent in every living organism can work in two different directions. After a disturbance, the organism may return, more or less, to its previous state through various processes of self-maintenance. ...The organism may also undergo a process of self-transformation and self-transcendence, involving states of crises and transition and resulting in an entire new state of balance (Capra, Uncommon Wisdom, up. 203-4).

I believe the binocular disparity theory works with the orthodox theory that vision occurs in the cerebral cortex. But just for the moment, consider the divergent direction that vision occurs outside the brain at the interference pattern created by the marriage between the positive energy at the external object with the negative visual energy that exits the eyes creating a hologram - a sensation received via the mind located in the energy field. Then reverse engineer the binocular disparity theory as visual energy exits the eyes. Reversing the functions for normal vision to gain microscopic vision is the major example showing Capra's conclusion.

Plus, viewers must study each visual variation and consider each and every aspect in order to make a decision on the whole. You can't review just one visual variation, i.e. stereograms, and understand how and why this visual theory was reached.

RE: Email Subject Line - something to think about
Viewer: Art Boyer

Response by Mary Johnston
Thank you Art for your three word subject line which showed me that you probably read through the entire web site. That is my intention of this web site, to get people to start thinking about this new direction, to think outside the box, and correct any errors of perceptions I may have made.

RE: University of Maryland Physics of Light Course

Response by Mary Johnston
Thanks for adding a link to this web site. I feel honored UMD. I do believe there can be advancements made regarding the physics of light when these visual experiments are explored.

RE: Dennis Gabor
Viewer: Attila Kovarfi, Australia

Thanks for your recoursefull information I found on your web pages. I would like to add a comment: Dennis Gabor born in Hungary as Gabor Denes and he remained Hungarian till he died. I suppose all the 20 million Hungarians live around the world would be happy if you correct this information on your webpage. Thanks for your understanding. All the best from a Hungarian Ozi.

Response by Mary Johnston
Thank you for the compliment and for the correction of Gabor being Hungarian and not British. Since my research had not included much on Gabor, I can see how I missed that error and how someone had considered him British since he relocated during the Hitler period.

RE: Afterimages & Green Filters in OR's
Viewer: John Hollander/Alkco Lighting

Ms. Johnston, I am hoping that, with your specialization in vision and your medical credentials, you can help me. Our company manufactures lighting fixtures and one of our markets is healthcare lighting. One of the areas we address is surgical suites. We do not provide the surgical task lights but we do make the recessed fluorescent fixtures for the OR. We have seen a number of requests for a green filter to be used in conjunction with our fixtures. I am aware of the afterimage phenomenon in surgical rooms and how it impacts the color of the scrubs used and sometimes the perimeter wall colors. I have also heard that the green filters aid in the viewing the contrast of the monitors used in the OR. I somehow don't know if we are getting the full explanation for the use of these green filters. I am hoping that you might have an explanation and could potentially point me to a study that I could review and reference. If this is not in your field of expertise, any help in identifying someone that we could talk to would be appreciated. Thank you in advance for your help. John Hollander Director of Marketing and Product Development Alkco Lighting

Response by Mary Johnston
Mr. Hollander: Healthcare lighting starting in the OR sounds fantastic. The individual I would suggest you speak with regarding the green filters in OR would be Dr. Jacob Liberman.

Liberman holds a Doctorate in Optometry from the Southern College of Optometry and a Ph.D. in Vision Science for his pioneering work in phototherapy. Formerly president of the College of Syntonic Optometry, Dr. Liberman is now president of Universal Light Technology, Ltd., in Aspen, Colorado, business doing research, development, and education seminars on phototherapy and phototherapeutic devices. Liberman is a pioneer in the therapeutic use of light and color and their relationship to human consciousness and personal transformation, and developing phototherapeutic devices for healing. His first book, Light: Medicine of the Future (Santa Fe, NM. : Bear & Co., 1991) is considered to be on the cutting edge of enlightened technology.

If you do a Google search for Jacob Liberman you can pull up many articles. I highly recommend his book: Light: Medicine of the Future. That book also gives recommendations for anyone utilizing full-spectrum fluorescent tubes (pg 210). Liberman lived in Aspen, Colorado when I telephoned him years ago. From Susan Barber's interview with him, I see Liberman and his wife now live in Hawaii. Perhaps you can find his phone number in Hawaii. Or for information regarding lectures, workshops, this may still be a valid address: Jacob Liberman, O.D., Ph.D, P.O. Box 4058, Aspen, Colorado 81612

RE: Microscopic Vision
Viewer: Matt Orosz

Hello Mrs. Johnston: I have experienced "microscopic vision" for many years, but never in any controlled way (just sometimes it happens when I'm squinting). It happened again today before I fell asleep during a car ride so I thought I'd do a Google And Google Scholar search on unaided microscopic vision. I found your website and I'm curious to know if you've uncovered any scientific literature on the topic. I'm also curious to know the basis for identifying the shapes as vitamin A and dead cornea cells. I have wondered if they might be bacteria...Two last questions, have you been able to train people to corroborate this microscopic vision, or have you at least found others able to do it as well? I'm very interested to know how isolated a phenomenon this is, and I'm happy to discover that its not just me! Please get in touch. PS. I'm currently a graduate student at MIT, although my research has nothing whatsoever to do with vision or optics - I mainly research nitrogen pollution.

Response by Mary Johnston
First, let me ask, at what point did you think you were experiencing microscopic vision? What made you think so? Did you recognize it as microscopic vision previously or draw that conclusion after reading my site?

Knowing and understanding the microscopic vision process will lead you to control of microscopic vision. If you choose to follow the experiment, please, first read my disclaimer since I don't know the condition of your eyes or problems you may have. To gain full control, you need to allow some time for the visual neurons to adapt to the higher intensity light (3 will vary with individuals...took me a week...). It would be important for you to read the page for afterimages and compare the process between normal vision and microscopic vision. Interesting the way the eye functions are totally opposite.

My impression is that you are probably seeing fleeting glimpses of the aqueous humor contents that I described while in the hypnogotic state of full body relaxation just before sleep allowing more awareness of the microscopic scene. I just want to make sure you are identifying with my description and not something else.

No, I have NEVER found any scientific literature regarding man's ability to use the naked eye as a microscope. And believe me, I've searched but that doesn't mean it is not so...just unknown. There was alot of scientific literature I found that gave the explanation I needed for certain occurrences but was never pin pointed towards microscopic vision. If you would have asked if I've uncovered any "UNscientific literature, then that's a different story. Dr. Karagulla at UCLA did research on "Diane" who had the ability of internal vision within the body. Then Barbara Ann Brennan, a healer, therapist and research scientist for NASA at the Goddard Space Flight Center with an M.S. in Atmospheric Physics...has X-ray vision into the body (Brennan, Barbara, Hands of Light). Diane and Barbara's internal & X-ray abilities on a scale of 1-10, I would say is a resounding 10 and what I describe with microscopic vision is a mere "1". I also strongly believe that once science gets involved with the experiments on my site and experience the truth to what I say that they will find the first clues to explain Diane and Brennan's mysterious internal and X-ray vision abilities.

When I first began seeing microscopically, I knew I was seeing something but I didn't know what. It was moving/floating and always the same designs/shapes. First, I thought I was seeing something in the air that was unseen with normal vision. As I did research on the eye, my thoughts turned to microscopic molecules within the tear fluid. My research showed the tear film collects dust and matter and contains about fifteen different bacteria. Plus, the images I saw were not floating towards the lacrimal canal where the tear fluid drains into the nose. Using deductive reasoning and knowing what I saw was not dust and matter and there was never 15 different shapes/designs (bacteria) in what I observed. I then concluded what I was seeing was NOT within the tear film. My creative process became blocked...I simply could not figure out what I was seeing until....

One lady named Monica upon learning that I possessed the ability of microscopic vision approached me full of questions and ended up asking me if I would teach her how to use the naked eye as a microscope. She had her degree in medical technology. I started her out to see dominant vivid negative afterimages using 100 W light to adapt the neurons/synapses before taking her into microscopic vision. By that time, my eye/brain/hemisphere research showed me the need for higher intensity light, minute aperture creating coherence and smaller wavelengths in order for microscopic vision with the naked eye to occur. In the end, Monica saw exactly what I saw then I explained the process for microscopic vision. Suddenly, her eye lit up and she smiled, "Then, yes, one sees microscopically." Yes, she saw and understood.

Monica told me that she used to see this observation when she was lying in the sun or on the beach while squinting and staring at the sun. But her thinking was, "Oh, that's just what happens to the visual system when you stare at the sun." She then let the thoughts go and questioned nothing. I believe probably everyone has seen this like you without control, but they are not THINKER personalities curious or questioning the occurrence to know and understand exactly what it was they saw.

It was Monica with her background in medical technology that suggested the specimens we were observing were within the aqueous humor. My research dug deeper...

  • Direct electromagnetic energy with ultraviolet radiation affect the biological responses within the cornea's system of dividing cells, which constantly renew themselves by undergoing cell division. The dead cornea cells are discarded into the aqueous humor.
  • The aqueous humor is a watery fluid derived from blood plasma, resembles plasma in composition, and flows freely from the posterior chamber through the iris opening into the anterior chamber. The aqueous supplies oxygen and other nutrients (one of which is Vit A which fit the description of the tube specimen I saw) to the cornea and is the sole supplier of oxygen and nutrients to the lens.
  • The fact that the aqueous is in constant movement being formed then draining in to a circular canal, the Canal of Schlemm fits with the movement of the fluid I observed.
  • Once you gain control of the eye and ciliary muscles plus the sphincter muscle within the iris that constricts the iris, and in order to maintain the observation, then you will become aware that the floating, moving molecules are in front of the sporadic, stationary target-like circles (cornea cells).
An isolated phenomenon - Do a search on negative afterimages and microscopic vision to see what science knows about those phenomenon compared to what I show on my website. I have found NOTHING compatible with what I have shown. I have no doubt that what I say can and will be proven. There is alot of dogma out there and science cannot explain the whole of how vision works. I don't think the actual observation of the aqueous specimens is isolated but has probably been observed by many, like with you, Monica and myself. But due to the lack of curiosity, questioning, tenacity of the majority personalities the clues and knowledge of what they were seeing has been passed by and lost. Viewing a microscope slide with some minute particle with the naked eye, I believe, is virtually unknown because who would consider altering the functions of the eye exactly opposite normal vision? The scientific theory now is that the eye cannot see anything closer than 2" from the is wrong!

RE: Microscopic Vision
Viewer: Matt Orosz

Mary: I talked this over with some fellow MIT students over lunch and they all had a good laugh about this "microscopic vision"... eventually most of them admitted that they'd experienced it but they were skeptical that it was cells or anything at that small scale. Nobody had a really good alternative hypothesis though.

One of them decided to look into it (to prove me wrong) and found this article online, and it seems to substantiate that its cells and groups of cells in the vitreous, although it makes no reference to any body of work on the subject. It also mentions proteins, which I think may better explain the strandlike ones because vitamin A is incredibly tiny compared to the size of cells, so it seems unlikely to be seeing both in the same focal plane. A protein can be relatively large... In any case further explanation would be useful. I think its remarkable how little information there is (readily) available (i.e. google) on this phenomenon, given that it seems to be a visual representation of things much smaller than the human eye is normally capable of resolving. Given that the standard notion is that humans gained access to the microscopic world only in the 1500s, it would be interesting to consider the implications of this phenomenon and the speculation it might have given rise to in earlier times. As to your question about suggestion from your website, it is a good point (my MIT colleagues accused me of implanting the answer in the question when I brought it up at lunch). However, I have always thought it was something microscopic, because the resemblance to microscope slide images is uncanny. I think it would be great if you establish this with experiments for your book, and I'd love it if you kept me informed of your progress. Let me know if there's something I can help out with.

Response by Mary Johnston
Matt: You tell your fellow colleagues I had to chuckle at them. I needed a good laugh. Yes, I've been there, been laughed at, and been thought crazy. But the difference between those thinkers and a rebel is the challenge to know and to understand and to find the answers. I hope they didn't bring down your self-esteem!

"...eventually most of them admitted that they'd experienced it...." Now you, no doubt, understand what I was attempting to tell you in what we observe was probably common but ignored by idle minds; therefore, the clues that the experience possess remained unknown.

"...but they were skeptical that it was cells or anything at that small scale...." What, none of your MIT colleagues has the curiosity to check out my process of seeing afterimages and microscopic vision which will show and explain how the human eye CAN see things at that small scale?

"...Nobody had a really good alternative hypothesis thought...." No alternative hypothesis but yet they are so quick to judge. Regarding the spotsfloats link your friend's search turned up: I'm aware of the floaters. But sorry, what is observed is NOT in the vitreous humor. Electromagnetic energy is encoded with the signals from the last specimen it came into contact with before it reaches the focus point at the minute pupil aperture; therefore, in the aqueous humor. Then visual energy due to the tiny pupil aperture begins to "diverge" after squeezing through the tiny pupil aperture taking up a larger area at the fovea. (Normal vision due to refraction "converges" the visual energy to a pinpoint on the fovea).

Matt, I was impressed with you from your first email...your wondering, your questioning, your curiosity, your theory at what you were seeing just before you fell asleep in the car. Then you followed through and did something about it...a google search...then you took the time to email me with questions. Just remember, it is the rebels that end up making the difference and make the largest advances so don't let your laughing friends pull you down.

RE: Annoying Negative Afterimages
Viewer: no name - telephone caller

Response by Mary Johnston
A Toronto, Canada viewer telephoned asking what he could do regarding the very annoying late night oncoming car headlight negative afterimages he sees when he shifts his eyes to look into the rear view mirror. The same occurrance occurs when watching TV at night and a negative afterimage of the prior scene appears on the screen.

My first impression was that he was a man who seldom or never wore sunglasses or hats to shield the incoming sunlight making his eyes/visual neurons more sensitive to incoming electromagnetic energy. He would have seen the bright oncoming headlights as a dark round shadows in his rearview mirror which would obviously be annoying to see what is behind you and to make a decision to change lanes etc. He fell into the minority of people who can see fleeting glimpses of negative afterimages. To cut down on his eye's sensitivity to light, I suggested that he wear sunglasses when out in sunlight.

Sadly, I did not get the caller's name or phone number for further communication. As I later thought about his problem, he saw the annoying late night headlight negative afterimages as his eyes shifted to the rear view mirror and when watching late night TV late because the eyes normally constantly move but seeing negative afterimages requires an absolutely steady, unmoving gaze on the external object. His problem always occurred late at night after a long work day when his optical nystagmus eye muscles were fatigued refusing to move the eyes. He was exhausted ! Thus, he was driving with an absolute steady gaze and when he shifted his eyes to the rearview mirror, he also observed the headlight negative afterimages on the mirror backdrop. Same applies when watching TV.

The caller needs to be aware that his body is telling him to STOP, don't work to exhaustion, relax, recharge your bodies energy level then go on. Otherwise, the next phase is sleep and a possible car accident. Only when his body is recharged and full of energy will normal eye movement return eliminating the annoying negative afterimage observation.


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