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

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The Pseudoscope

Hyperscope X3
The Pseudoscope X3
Hyperscope X7

The Pseudoscope X5.5

"Those of us who are interested in vision and pictures owe a debt of gratitude to Terry Pope, who over many years has designed and produced simple instruments for revising stereo by switching the eye - the Pseudoscope.

Switching the eyes should quite simply reverse depth; but it is not so simple. For the brain plays its part, and the brain is never simple! It refuses to see the very unlikely. A hollow face for example, is too unlikely, so although stereo is reversed we continue to see the nose sticking out, much as usual. Some things reverse in depth, others don't. This is the fascination of the Pseudoscope. It tells us what knowledge and assumptions the visual system uses for seeing objects. The unconscious knowledge can be very different from conscious beliefs - yet science itself depends on our perception."

Professor Richard L. Gregory

The Pseudoscope is an inviting window into another world. It re-maps space in exciting ways by switching the visual inputs to the brain, right to left, left to right. Early pseudoscopes were prismatic. M.C.Escher used one. His friend, the mathematician Professor Scouten made it using hypotenuse prisms, and presented it to Escher. It was to become one of the important inputs in his work. However, for researchers, prismatic pseudoscopes have three serious limitations. These are a small field of view, lateral inversion, and a weak pseudoscopic effect.

This mirror Pseudoscope has a substantially larger field of view, no lateral inversion and a pseudoscopic enhancement factor of 3. This window into another world will reveal quite dramatic contrasts between the familiar and the unfamiliar. Some of the unfamiliar perceptions will have the quality of strangeness, inducing an innocence of vision as the perceptual system comes to terms with this new reading of space. In a real sense pseudoscopic vision fights `normal vision'. It is, after all, a major alteration to the way information is being presented to the brain for processing, and some people, not all, find there is initially at least, a tendency to suppress the extraordinary interpretation of space it reveals. Because of this unfamiliarity, in some instances, the full pseudoscopic experience might take a little time to assert itself. Pseudoscopic Targets, such as those overleaf, are useful for dramatizing the more extraordinary features of pseudoscopic vision.

Whereas stereoscopic depth perception is the result of fusing the different images received by the two eyes, pseudoscopic perception is the result of switching the inputs to the eyes before they are fused, so that:

The right eye receives information normally received by the left eye; the left eye receives information normally received by the right eye;

The pseudoscope does to front and back what a mirror does to left and right. This means that foreground becomes background and visible background becomes foreground, or more simply, background advances, foreground recedes.

Most people's senses have spent many years in cooperative research, forming an important and practical notion of what the world is like. This object overlaps that, therefore it is in front; this object is bigger so probably it is closer etc. etc. The Spell Pseudoscope overturns many of these orthodox perceptions, and re-structures a visual world rich in conjecture and opportunity.