Phantascope Phantascope
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A combined pocket size Hyperscope & Psudoscope,
and more.

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For the Technically Minded

As well as switching the eyes the Pseudoscope increases the horizontal eye separation from the average 2½" (6.5cm) to 14" (35.75cm) creating a pseudoscopic enhancement factor of 5.5, without lateral inversion. This makes it easy to have continuous pseudoscopic experiences, which, as will be seen, are bizarre.

Early prismatic pseudoscopes (as used by M.C.Esher) had three disadvantages:

  1. Lateral inversion;
  2. Small field of view, and, perhaps most important for the purposes of research and personal discovery,
  3. Weak pseudoscopic effect.

As a result delays in the effect developing were long and many opportunities for pseudoscopic effects were missed altogether. Immediate pseudoscopic perception is not however merely a result of the design of more efficient pseudoscopes, but is the result of the design of models which isolate and dramatise properties that respond to switched visual inputs, thereby overcoming, as far as possible, the inhibitions to stimuli which work against normal vision.

The perception of stereoscopic and pseudoscopic depth depends upon the difference between the images received by the two eyes. This difference in turn, depends upon the relative positions of the eyes; the greater the separation between the eyes, the greater the difference between the two images and therefore the better the visual system is able to compute disparities in depth.

Visual sensitivity to spatial disparities varies in proportion to the distance between the eyes; if the distance is doubled, you double the ability to detect and respond to spatial changes. 65 millimeters is average for eye separation. The Pseudoscope increases this by a factor of three. As a result your ability to detect changes in depth is enhanced by about that factor.

Example 1. Imagine viewing an object 30ft (10 m) away and another 4" (10 cm) closer. With normal eye separation this will cause a disparity between the two eyes images of the objects of about 13.5 seconds of arc. Using the Pseudoscope this increases to over 45 seconds of arc.

Example 2. As an alternative, assume the visual system can just detect a difference in depth when the images of the two objects have a disparity of 30 seconds of arc - which may be a high estimate. If one object were 30ft (10 m) away, under normal viewing conditions, the other would have to be 9" (22cms) closer or further away for its position to be accurately perceived. Since the Pseudoscope improves the detection rate by about three times, the depth of the second object would still be detected even if it were only 3"(6.5cms) away from the first compared with the 9" (22cms) required by normal vision.

Because Hyperscopic vision is like something already known, but more so, it is possible to be reasonably descriptive about its effects. Pseudoscopic vision is, however, for the most part quite unlike what is known, and it is not unnatural for some people to initially suppress their ability to recognise what they are seeing.