The Pulfrich phenomenon


What is the Pulfrich Phenomenon?

The Pulfrich Phenomenon is a three dimensional semblance where a traveling object is seen to travel in an anomalous tract when viewed binocularly with a light rarefying filter placed in forepart of one oculus. This creates the semblance that an object oscillating on a frontal plane appears to follow an egg-shaped tract. The most widely accepted theory for this semblance is that cut downing the brightness of a stimulation to the retina of one oculus causes comparatively slower excitement of the photoreceptors ( www. ) and hence a delayed processing of the image relation to the other oculus. ( 1 ) This creates a latency difference between the two eyes and as a consequence, information for two different scenes from each retina arrives at the ocular cerebral mantle at the same clip. Information from one oculus will get at the cerebral mantle milliseconds subsequently than the other. A geometric disparity is registered cortically from the input of the two eyes ( 7 ) and this leads to the wrong perceptual experience of the motion and comparative places of objects observed by the person.

Many optic or neurological upsets that affect the ocular tract can bring forth a hold in signal transmittal to the encephalon, making a geometric disparity. The semblances created by this geometric disparity produce troublesome symptoms for persons with a status and is why many patients see jobs in mundane life as a consequence of the phenomenon. ( 5 )

Who foremost discovered the Phenomenon?

Carl Pulfrich, a physicist with the Zeiss Company, described the phenomenon in 1922.

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He was non able to detect the consequence himself nevertheless due to a childhood hurt, which left him blind in one oculus by 1905. The phenomenon was foremost noted earlier nevertheless by uranologists utilizing stereo-comparators to seek for planets. ( 3 )

Showing the phenomenon

The Pulfrich phenomenon can be observed in a normal single by binocularly sing a vacillation pendulum British shilling whilst keeping a impersonal denseness filter in forepart of one oculus. The pendulum British shilling or mark used to arouse the phenomenon may take the signifier of a mechanical or computerized mark. The impersonal denseness filter lowers the retinal light of the oculus it covers, and this creates the difference in signal transmittal clip between the two eyes. This hold created by a decrease in retinal light is supported by several psychophysical and electro-physical probes. ( 1 ) ( ( 8,9 ) ) The geometric disparity created by the ocular latency difference between the eyes is interpreted by the encephalon as deepness by the binocular disparity sensors. ( 2 ) This is why the pendulum British shilling is perceived to hover in an egg-shaped gesture alternatively of traveling along a frontal plane. The sensed way of the pendulum ‘s swing is dependent on which oculus the filter is covering ; the pendulum appears to revolve clockwise when the filter is placed in forepart of the left oculus and anti-clockwise when it is in forepart of the right oculus.

Provoked and Spontaneous Pulfrich Phenomenon ‘s

When the Pulfrich phenomenon is induced in a normal single i.e. utilizing impersonal denseness filters, the phenomenon is sometimes called the provoked Pulfrich consequence. Since a hold can happen in persons with eyepiece or neurological upsets that affect the ocular tract, the Pulfrich consequence can happen spontaneously. Such diseases which may ensue in a self-generated Pulfrich consequence include ocular neuritis, an redness of the ocular nervus which can do swelling and devastation of the medulla sheath covering the ocular nervus. Since this medulla sheath helps carry on nervus urges along its axons faster than non-myelinated axons, its devastation will take to a slower transmittal to the occipital cerebral mantle, where the information is processed. Ocular neuropathies with bilaterally asymmetrical demyelination are thought to be the most common causes of the Pulfrich Phenomenon and the ocular symptoms it is associated with. ( website ) Systemic conditions such as Multiple Sclerosis, a demyelinating disease were the fatty medulla sheaths around axons are damaged ( Miller DH, Leary SM ( October 2007 ) . “ Primary-progressive multiple induration ” ) , can take to many persons sing the Pulfrich Phenomenon. The Pulfrich Phenomenon has besides been reported in many other diseases such as one-sided cataract or asymmetrical bilateral cataract. A cataract may cut down retinal light or bring forth retinal fuzz therefore taking to a ocular latency in the ocular tract of the affected oculus doing the phenomenon in the person. Anisometropic amblyopia, squint, corneal opacity, anisocoria, one-sided mydriasis, Central serous retinopathy, and age-related macular devolution have all been accountable to bring forth the Pulfrich consequence to some extent in an person. Retinal fuzz has besides been thought to be cause of the consequence, most noticeable in smaller marks. Sokol and Moskowitz ( cat ( 13 ) ) showed that a 12 MS addition in the ocular latency resulted from a 3 diopter refractile mistake. ( )

A self-generated Pulfrich phenomenon is non uncommon and has been found rather often in surveies with patients with optic and neurological upsets. It was found in 24 out of 93 patients with cured ocular neuritis, 16 out of 29 patients with unsophisticated one-sided cataract and three out of 70 patients with assorted squint jobs. ( 3 )

Factors impacting the magnitude of the Phenomenon seen

The magnitude of the Pulfrich Phenomenon seen depends on a figure of factors with retinal light being one of the most important. The magnitude of Pulfrich consequence seen i.e. the deepness of the egg-shaped flight, is larger for increasing disparity of retinal light between the two eyes. This may happen in a patient with a self-generated Pulfrich phenomenon, for illustration when one oculus has a much denser cataract than the fellow oculus. It may besides happen in instances of uniocular mydriasis when anisocoria could be induced. ( 2 ) The oculus with the larger pupil receives increased retinal light than the other oculus with a smaller student and hence the phenomenon may be induced. This may besides happen when the Pulfrich phenomenon is provoked, i.e. when a impersonal denseness filter covering the oculus is increased in deepness. Lit ( ( 2 ) 12 ) has shown that the magnitude of the Pulfrich consequence seen, that is the size of the oval, is relative to the denseness of the filter used.

The distance from which a pendulum or similar mark is viewed, besides has an consequence on the magnitude of the Pulfrich phenomenon seen. An addition in the magnitude of the phenomenon can be observed as the distance between the perceiver and mark additions. Target speed besides contributes to the magnitude of the Pulfrich phenomenon. As the mark speed additions, so does the magnitude of the Pulfrich consequence seen by the perceiver, taking to much more noticeable semblances and increased ocular symptoms.

Symptoms experienced due to the Phenomenon

The symptoms expressed by a patient with the Pulfrich phenomenon to a general practician or oculist can be rather unusual. Objects appear to travel in wrong tracts when either the perceiver or the mark is in gesture. ( 3 ) Objects traveling up and down nevertheless will non show this consequence or lead to symptoms as a consequence of misjudged distances. These symptoms experienced lead to troubles in mundane undertakings. Undertakings such as driving and assorted ball game activities like football, which require good perceptual experience of traveling objects, have been found to be more hard for patients who have the Pulfrich phenomenon. Even the simplest of undertakings such as voyaging through room accesss or pouring a drink have been found to bring forth an increased degree of trouble for such patients.

Several surveies have revealed that ocular damage leads to increased auto accidents and trouble drive. Ocular perceptual experience has a cardinal function in the safe operation of a vehicle, assisting prevent drive mistakes and hence prevent accidents and human deaths. In order to drive safely, a driver must be able to move and respond to the altering environment around him/her. This requires the ability to right gauge the comparative places of traveling and non-moving objects. Some Patients with a self-generated Pulfrich phenomenon have complained of oncoming autos seemingly sheering across the route towards them. This ocular perceptual experience could take to a serious accident and therefore must be treated to assist forestall any casualties. Persons who were subsequently diagnosed with pathologies thought to be the cause of a self-generated Pulfrich Phenomenon have reported the semblance that whilst drive, oncoming autos appear to sheer across the route towards them. Percept of this would take to the driver doing a crisp bend off to get away what he/she thinks is a certain accident. Forty old ages ago, a traffic accident was reported which occurred as a consequence of an induced Pulfrich phenomenon due to one-sided pupillary dilation. ( mention ) Since so, many probes have been carried out to larn more about the consequence a self-generated Pulfrich phenomenon has on driving. It was found that many persons had jobs with judging distances when driving, particularly when executing tactics such as contrary parking into a garage. ( mentions )

Why is it utile for oculists to be able to name and handle the Pulfrich phenomenon?

Due to troublesome ocular symptoms experienced by patients known to hold the phenomenon, it is in the involvement of both the patient and Optometrist that the Pulfrich consequence is diagnosed and treated every bit shortly as possible. Assorted surveies have shown that one-sided mydriasis was found to ever bring forth the phenomenon on topics. ( mention ) Because of this, it would be of import for the Optometrist to warn the patient in progress of dilation, the ocular symptoms and trouble judging distance that can be expected, and besides to warn, if possible, the patient should non drive place. It has besides been suggested that, because patients with conditions such as cataract and ocular neuropathy frequently demonstrate the Pulfrich phenomenon, an effectual trial for the Pulfrich phenomenon might be a utile add-on to the trials available to Optometrists in primary attention pattern. The sensing of this phenomenon may help prompt diagnosing of any implicit in pathology therefore the right direction and intervention could be initiated without hold. Recognition of this phenomenon could be peculiarly helpful in the early diagnosing of Retrobulbar neuritis, the most common signifier of ocular neuritis in grownups and often associated with multiple induration ( Jack J Kanski ) . In retrobulbar neuritis, the ocular phonograph record visual aspect is normal, at least ab initio, because the ocular nervus caput is non involved and so early sensing is hard utilizing direct or indirect Ophthalmoscopy. Testing for the Pulfrich phenomenon is the lone manner to clinically find if gesture stereopsis is normal or non. Ocular Elicited Potentials are non utile in analyzing how gesture stereopsis is affected, as their signals are travel via different ocular tracts. VEP ‘s are besides non available to primary attention oculists. Standard stereo-tests such as the Frisby stereotest normally used in Optometric Practice besides fail to observe any abnormalcies in gesture stereopsis. ( 1 ) Knowledge and apprehension of the Pulfrich would assist the Optometrist appreciate many of the strange symptoms experienced by an person with the Pulfrich phenomenon and the many sorts of jobs faced in day-to-day life by i.e. athleticss games and traffic state of affairss.

The symptoms experienced by a patient with the phenomenon can be rather easy ignored or dismissed if the clinician is incognizant of the phenomenon. If oculists had the appropriate equipment and cognition to name the Pulfrich phenomenon in mundane pattern, they would besides be able to handle the phenomenon and its sometimes-disabling effects utilizing simple filtered lenses. This would assist cut down or extinguish any of the jobs experienced as a consequence. Patients, that happen even the simplest of undertakings such as pouring a drink or voyaging through room accesss, may be enabled to transport out these undertakings with easiness after intervention. Management and intervention of the phenomenon may besides let patients who retired from driving a vehicle due to the ocular troubles faced with the Pulfrich consequence to experience confident in driving once more. The unusual symptoms experienced when driving due to the Pulfrich phenomenon, particularly the location of traveling objects encountered in traffic, could be eliminated with the simple intervention available.

How is the Pulfrich phenomenon treated?

The symptoms experienced by patients with a self-generated Pulfrich phenomenon can be reduced or eliminated by puting an appropriate impersonal denseness filter or ocular shade in forepart of the unaffected oculus. ( 3 ) The lens has the consequence of cut downing retinal light of the unaffected oculus and hence creates a hold in signal transmittal to the ocular cerebral mantle, which equals the hold in the affected oculus. To taking a right filter, the patient is shown a scope of filters of changing densenesss and asked to make up one’s mind which lens alleviates their symptoms and removes phenomenon. Once the suited lens filter has been chosen, it may so be worn as eyeglassess or as a contact lens. Ocular shades are preferred to impersonal denseness filters as they are more readily available and cost effectual for the patient. ( 3 ) The filters used to handle the phenomenon should stay the same without necessitating to be updated, so long as the underlying pathology remains stationary. ( )

Other Diagnostic methods

Doctors and other Healthcare professionals have found many different ways of proving for the phenomenon. The most frequently suggested method is to swing a pendulum in 5 different tracts in forepart of a patient.

A pendulum is swung in each of the tracts, from A-E. If the right oculus is affected, the tracts C and B produce the most pronounced consequence for the patient. The pendulum appears to swerve towards the patient as it gets closer on these tracts.

Picture from Charles J. M Diaper, 1997 Surv Ophthalmol

Another technique used by some medical professionals in observing the Pulfrich Phenomenon is when the tester instructs the patient to rapidly walk past the tester whilst seeking to brush his/her shoulder on either side. If the consequence is present the patient ‘s left oculus for illustration as shown in the diagram below, normally the affected eyes side will ensue in a big spread between the patient and the tester. Mistakes in spacial localisation consequence in the misjudgement of the distance between the patient and tester. The patient can be seen to do a class rectification, which can be seen as a rapid stumble off from the tester. ( 6 )

The wrong distance opinion by the patient is a consequence of an semblance caused by the Pulfrich phenomenon taking the patient to believe the tester is closer than what he/she really is. ( 3 ) Note that this spread would merely happen on the same side of the affected oculus. For illustration if the patient ‘s right oculus were affected on the image left, a big spread would non be observed.

What my undertaking is about?

In this undertaking we are interested in look intoing which trials prove most effectual to an Optometrist in observing the Pulfrich Phenomenon and besides what the optimum parametric quantities are for arousing the Pulfrich consequence in visually normal perceivers. With the ready handiness of computerised stimulations for arousing the Pulfrich consequence, this may now be possible in pattern. We would wish to look into which of the presently available on-line versions of the Pulfrich phenomenon stimulations are most successful and sensitive at arousing the Pulfrich consequence. I will besides prove a scope of impersonal denseness filters of changing deepnesss to see which induces the phenomenon best in a group of visually normal grownups aged 18-30. I will besides be entering the distances at which the topics were placed in relation to the screen throughout the trial to see what consequence this may hold on observing the phenomenon on how sensitive the different stimulations were at observing the Pulfrich phenomenon in the topics.

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The Pulfrich phenomenon. (2017, Aug 30). Retrieved from

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