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from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The dark grey colour seen by the eyes in perfect darkness, as a result of signals from the optic nerves.


From German Eigengrau ‘intrinsic grey’. (Wiktionary)



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  • The uniform dark gray background that many people report seeing in the absence of light. The term dates back to the nineteenth century but has rarely been used in recent scientific publications. Nowadays the phenomenon is more commonly referred to as "visual noise" or "background adaptation".

    Eigengrau is perceived as lighter than a black object in normal lighting conditions because contrast is more important to the visual system than absolute brightness. For example, the night sky looks darker than eigengrau because of the contrast provided by the stars. -Wikipedia

    July 28, 2015