THE PERCEPTION OF HAIDINGER'S BRUSHES UNDER VARIOUS CONDITIONS

Title THE PERCEPTION OF HAIDINGER'S BRUSHES UNDER VARIOUS CONDITIONS
Author, Co-Author Joseph Zinkovich, John Gill, Elizabeth Luu
Topic
Year
2012
Day
Program Number
125333
Room
Exhibit Hall E
Affiliation
MCPHS School of Optometry
Abstract PURPOSE: The literature contains vague descriptions of the appearance, differences between individuals, and conditions that create Haidinger's brushes. The phenomenon is often described as being yellow when viewed against a blue sky, while not much information is available regarding the direction of rotation. Thus, the aim of this study is to document the attributes of this phenomenon.

METHODS: Forty subjects were asked to describe direction of rotation and color (from 16 samples) of Haidinger's brushes created under several situations: clockwise rotating polarizer is used in front of narrow spectrum blue (NSB) filter and broad spectrum blue (BSB) filter (similar to sky light); clockwise rotating computer screen (LCD) as reported anecdotally in literature; and liquid crystal variable polarizer (LCVP) producing nonlinear polarization.

RESULTS: For the NSB condition, 100% perceived, 87% clockwise, 13% counter-clockwise, 94% perceived 5 colors. For the BSB condition, 82% perceived, 96% clockwise, 4% counter-clockwise, 94% perceived 11 colors. LCD: 86% clockwise, 14% counterclockwise. LCVP: 22% clockwise, 78% counter-clockwise.

CONCLUSIONS: Haidinger's brushes are more likely to be perceived using NSB light than BSB light (blue sky), although broader spectrum light creates a larger variation in perceived colors. The findings from the present study demonstrated that Haidinger's Brushes can be created using nonlinear polarization states and do not have to be physically rotating to elicit the perception of motion. In addition, this study also confirmed Shurcliff's (1955) findings.
Affiliation of Co-Authors Midwestern University Arizona, College of Optometry, Midwestern University Arizona, College of Optometry
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