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A NEUROLOGICAL BASIS FOR VISUAL DISCOMFORT

ARNOLD WILKINS, IAN NIMMO-SMITH, ANNE TAIT, CHRISTOPHER McMANUS, SERGIO DELLA SALA, ANDREW TILLEY, KIM ARNOLD, MARGARET BARRIE, SYDNEY SCOTT
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/brain/107.4.989 989-1017 First published online: 1 December 1984

Summary

Certain patterns of stripes are judged to be unpleasant to look at. They include illusions of colour, shape and motion that are sometimes perceived predominantly to one side of fixation. People who suffer frequent headaches tend to report more illusions, and if the pain consistently occurs on the samer side of the head the illusions tend to be lateralized. The parameters of the patterns that induce illusions (including their shape, spatial frequency, duty cycle, contrast and cortical representation) closely resemble those that epileptiform electroencephalographic abnormalities in patients with photosensitive epilepsy. The viewing conditions under which such abnormalities are likely to appear are also those under which more illusions are seen.

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