I’ve just never been that person. The one who gets excited about illusions that we see float around here all the time. Chalk it up to time spent in the 90’s. I mean, you want to talk about visual misperceptions… Anyhoo, Vaughan Bell over at Mind Hacks has managed to tug at my interest regarding these doo dads saying:
This type of illusion, often called a peripheral drift illusion, was thought to occur due to slow drifting eye movements but this new study suggests that it is more likely to be explained by rapid but tiny eye movements called saccades.
And much like the eye drifts, so does my point… about a paper on saccades (which take about 20 milliseconds, the fastest movement in the body) and schizophrenia from way back in 1989. The researchers tested the saccadic reaction time of schizophrenic patients durring admission and in remitted stage. They found:
…schizophrenics revealed prolonged saccadic reaction times, which correlated with pronounced negative symptoms and an unfavourable course of the illness. The saccadic reaction times remained prolonged in schizophrenic patients. These findings suggest attentional deficits in schizophrenics. [via]
I say ‘slightly off topic’ since there is a difference between illusions, hallucinations and even delusions, but it turns out there is an interesting relationship between spacial attentions and saccadic eye movement in terms of neuroanatomy and behavior, which is a very active area of study.
Give the Minds Hacks post a visit, eh?