from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A visual image that persists after the visual stimulus causing it has ceased to act.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun An image which persists or remains in negative after the original stimulation has ended.


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

after + image


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  • An optical phenomenon in which the eye's nerves continue to convey an image after an initial image has departed. Typically, the afterimage appears as a likeness of the initial image, except that each of its colors is the complement to those in the initial image.

    How many black dots can you find? The black dots you see, and see disappear, are afterimages. This figure is known as a Hermann grid.

    Another: Stare at the + in the middle of the blue figure below for 15-30 seconds. Then move your gaze to the + in the center of the white square on the right.

    (From ArtLex)

    June 5, 2008