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Similar things may be noticed with colors; after looking at a red patch the eye turned on a white wall sees a blue-green patch; the elements causing red sensations having been fatigued, the white mixed light from the wall now excites on that region of the retina only the other primary color sensations. The blending of colors so as to secure their greatest effect depends on this fact; red and green go well together because each rests the parts of the visual apparatus most excited by the other, and so each appears bright and vivid as the eye wanders to and fro; while red and orange together, each exciting and exhausting mainly the same visual elements, render dull, or in popular phrase 'kill,' one another.
"If we fix steadily for thirty seconds a point between two white squares about 4 mm. ( inch) apart on a large black sheet, and then close and cover our eyes, we get a negative after-image in which are seen two dark squares on a brighter surface; this surface is brighter close around the negative after-image of each square, and brightest of all between them. This luminous boundary is called the corona, and is explained usually as an effect of simultaneous contrast; the dark after-image of the square it is said makes us mentally err in judgment, and think the clear surface close to it brighter than elsewhere; and it is brightest between the two dark squares, just as a middlesized man between two tall ones looks shorter than if alongside one only. If, however, the after-image be watched, it will often be noticed not only that the light band between the squares is intensely white, much more so than the normal idio-retinal light [see below], but, as the image fades away, often the two dark after-images of the squares disappear entirely with all of the corona, except that part between them which is still seen as a bright band on a uniform grayish field. Here there is no contrast to produce the error of judgment; and from this and other experiments Hering concludes that light acting on one part of the retina produces inverse changes in all the rest, and that this plays an important part in producing the phenomena of contrasts. Similar phenomena may be observed with colored objects; in their negative after-images each tint is represented by its complementary, as black is by white in colorless vision." *
This is one of the facts referred to on p. 27 which have made Hering reject the psychological explanation of simultaneous contrast.
The Intensity of Luminous Objects.-Black is an optical sensation. We have no black except in the field of view;
*Martin, pp. 525-8.
we do not, for instance, see black out of our stomach or out of the palm of our hand. Pure black is, however, only an 'abstract idea,' for the retina itself (even in complete objective darkness) seems to be always the seat of internal changes which give some luminous sensation. This is what is meant by the 'idio-retinal light,' spoken of a few lines back. It plays its part in the determination of all afterimages with closed eyes. Any objective luminous stimulus, to be perceived, must be strong enough to give a sensible increment of sensation over and above the idio-retinal light. As the objective stimulus increases the perception is of an intenser luminosity; but the perception changes, as we saw on p. 18, more slowly than the stimulus. The latest numerical determinations, by König and Brodhun, were applied to six different colors and ran from an intensity arbitrarily called 1 to one which was 100,000 times as great. From intensity 2000 to 20,000 Weber's law held. good; below and above this range discriminative sensibility declined. The relative increment discriminated here was the same for all colors of light, and lay (according to the tables) between 1 and 2 per cent of the stimulus. Previous observers have got different results.
A certain amount of luminous intensity must exist in an object for its color to be discriminated at all. "In the dark all cats are gray.” But the colors rapidly become distincter as the light increases, first the blues and last the reds and yellows, up to a certain point of intensity, when they grow indistinct again through the fact that each takes a turn towards white. At the highest bearable intensity of the light all colors are lost in the blinding white dazzle. This again is usually spoken of as a 'mixing' of the sensation white with the original color-sensation. It is no mixing of two sensations, but the replacement of one sensation by another, in consequence of a changed neural process.
The Ear. "The auditory organ in man consists of three portions, known respectively as the external ear, the middle ear or tympanum, and the internal ear or laby
FIG. 17.-Semidiagrammatic section through the right ear (Czermak). concha; G, external auditory meatus; T, tympanic membrane; P, tympanic cavity; o, oval foramen; r, round foramen; R, pharyngeal opening of Eustachian tube; V, vestibule; B, a semicircular canal; S, the cochlea; Vt, scala vestibuli; Pt, scala tympani; A, auditory nerve.
rinth; the latter contains the end-organs of the auditory The external ear consists of the expansion seen on the exterior of the head, called the concha, M, Fig. 17,
*In teaching the anatomy of the ear, great assistance will be yielded by the admirable model made by Dr. Auzoux, 56 Rue de Vaugirard, Paris, described in the catalogue of the firm as "No. 21 -Oreille, temporal de 60 cm., nouvelle édition," etc.
and a passage leading in from it, the external auditory meatus, G. This passage is closed at its inner end by the tympanic or drum membrane, T. It is lined by skin, through which numerous small glands, secreting the wax of the ear, open.
"The Tympanum (P, Fig. 17) is an irregular cavity in the temporal bone, closed externally by the drum membrane. From its inner side the Eustachian tube (R) proceeds and opens into the pharynx. The inner wall of the tympanum is bony except for two small apertures, the oval and round foramens, o and r, which lead into the labyrinth. During life the round aperture is closed by the lining mucous membrane, and the oval by the stirrupbones. The tympanic membrane T, stretched across the outer side of the tympanum, forms a shallow funnel with its concavity outwards. It is pressed by the external air on its exterior, and by air entering the tympanic cavity through the Eustachian tube on its inner side. If the tympanum were closed these pressures would not be always equal when barometric pressure varied, and the membrane would be bulged in or out according as the external or in
ternal pressure on it were the greater. On the other hand, were the Eustachian tube always open the sounds of our own voices would be loud and disconcerting, so it is usually closed; lut every time we swallow it is opened, and thus the air-pressure in the cavity is kept equal to that in the external auditory meatus. On making a balloon ascent
FIG. 18.-Mcp, Mc, Ml, and Mm stand for different parts of the malleus; Jc, Jb, Jl. Jpl, for different parts of the incus. Or going rapidly down a S is the stapes. deep mine, the sudden and
great change of aërial pressure outside frequently causes
painful tension of the drum-membrane, which may be greatly alleviated by frequent swallowing.
The Auditory Ossicles.-Three small bones lie in the tympanum forming a chain from the drum-membrane to the oval foramen. The external bone is the malleus or hammer; the middle one, the incus or anvil; and the internal one, the stapes or stirrup. They are represented in Fig. 18.*
Accommodation is provided for in the ear as well as in the eye. One muscle an inch long, the tensor tympani, arises in the petrous portion of the temporal bone (running in a canal parallel to the Eustachian tube) and is inserted into the malleus below its head. When it contracts, it makes the membrane of the tympanum more tense. Another smaller muscle, the stapedius, goes to the head of the stirrup-bone. These muscles are by many persons felt distinctly contracting when certain notes are heard, and some can make them contract at will. In spite of this, uncertainty still reigns as to their exact use in hearing, though it is highly probable that they give to the membranes which they influence the degree of tension best suited to take up whatever rates of vibration may fall upon them at the time. In listening, the head and ears in lower animals, and the head alone in man, are turned so as best to receive the sound. This also is a part of the reaction called 'adaptation' of the organ (see the chapter on Attention).
The Internal Ear.-"The labyrinth consists primarily of chambers and tubes hollowed out in the temporal bone and inclosed by it on all sides, except for the oval and round foramens on its exterior, and certain apertures for bloodvessels and the auditory nerve; during life all these are closed water-tight in one way or another. Lying in the bony labyrinth thus constituted are membranous parts, of the same general form but smaller, so that between the two
*This description is abridged from Martin's 'Human Body'.