What do you see when you close your eyes?

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eikonabridge
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16 Mar 2019, 3:40 am

This refers to the situation at night, in the dark, with your eyes closed, but conscious and not sleeping. The colors and patterns you see are known as phosphenes: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phosphene. Surprisingly, there are very few images/videos of phosphenes online.

Here are some that I have found:

(A)
Image
(B)
Image
(C)
Image
(D)
Image
(E)
Image
(F)
Image

There are also some videos:
(G)

(H)


Then, there is this article about closed-eye hallucination: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Closed-eye_hallucination which describes 5 levels of closed-eye visualization:
Level 1: Visual noise
Level 2: Light/dark flashes
Level 3: Patterns, motion, and color
Level 4: Objects and things
Level 5: Overriding physical perception

I think I am always at level 3. I guess what I see is what other people describe as "hallucination," but I wouldn't describe it as hallucination, because it's what I see, all the time. I either see concentric purple and green patches (not perfectly circular rings), or zebra-style stripes of purple and green color. In the first case, the patches move inwards, and in the second case, the stripes move, you could almost say they dance. The "dancing zebra stripes" case is somewhat similar to (F), but with a lot more green stripes. The video (H) kind of describes the mechanics of "dancing," but again, is not precisely what I see.

From the images and videos I've been able to found, I realize that everyone sees something different. None of the images/videos above matches precisely with my personal experience.

I checked with my daughter and surprisingly her case is very close to my case (at least the case of concentric patches in purple and green, though she described her green as yellow-green.) My son says he sees dancing zebra stripes, but in four colors: black, white, blue, and green. He was very clear that he saw blue color, not purple color.

What do you see? I am just wondering whether autistic people tend to see similar colors/patterns.


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PoseyBuster88
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17 Mar 2019, 10:45 pm

I am not diagnosed, just suspected ASD, but I see sort of static/stars, but with an overlay of lighter and darker patches of dark yellowy-green and black "sky" if that makes sense.


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Jon81
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19 Mar 2019, 5:11 pm

No diagnosis on me but online tests says 50/50 so maybe I'm some sort of hybrid. I see electric colors (blue/yellow/red). Like PoseyBuster88 I see them in shapes of stars but mostly long electric flashes that are static and hard to focus on. A and E is somewhat close. Mostly black space though. I don't think I could sleep if I had to watch zebra stripes. I get dizzy just watching the images.


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grahambaster
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19 Mar 2019, 7:46 pm

I'm glad you posted this. On days I don't look at a computer screen when I am going to bed at night I get closed eye hallucinations. Are dreams hallucinations?

Mine are extremely vivid and the images I see look like some modern art sculpture (3d) and they move/transform. I also see scenes of people or places that seem like I am actually there and seeing it.

In the past before I quit anti-depressants I used to have daytime parahypnogogia.


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MagicMeerkat
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21 Mar 2019, 12:35 pm

Something similar to A, but in various shapes.


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Donald Morton
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21 Mar 2019, 1:03 pm

eikonabridge wrote:
This refers to the situation at night, in the dark, with your eyes closed, but conscious and not sleeping. The colors and patterns you see are known as phosphenes: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phosphene. Surprisingly, there are very few images/videos of phosphenes online.

Then, there is this article about closed-eye hallucination: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Closed-eye_hallucination which describes 5 levels of closed-eye visualization:
Level 1: Visual noise
Level 2: Light/dark flashes
Level 3: Patterns, motion, and color
Level 4: Objects and things
Level 5: Overriding physical perception

I think I am always at level 3. I guess what I see is what other people describe as "hallucination," but I wouldn't describe it as hallucination, because it's what I see, all the time. I either see concentric purple and green patches (not perfectly circular rings), or zebra-style stripes of purple and green color. In the first case, the patches move inwards, and in the second case, the stripes move, you could almost say they dance. The "dancing zebra stripes" case is somewhat similar to (F), but with a lot more green stripes. The video (H) kind of describes the mechanics of "dancing," but again, is not precisely what I see.

From the images and videos I've been able to found, I realize that everyone sees something different. None of the images/videos above matches precisely with my personal experience.

I checked with my daughter and surprisingly her case is very close to my case (at least the case of concentric patches in purple and green, though she described her green as yellow-green.) My son says he sees dancing zebra stripes, but in four colors: black, white, blue, and green. He was very clear that he saw blue color, not purple color.

What do you see? I am just wondering whether autistic people tend to see similar colors/patterns.



This is most interesting. Regularly I am at Level 3, then occasionally 4 and 5. I have discussed this with my therapist who diagnosed my OCD/Asperger's, as a visual manifestation of my non-typical brain wiring. I experience Visual Noise all the time with my eyes open or closed, just accepted it as what is normal for me.


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