Negative color afterimage is the result of prolonged staring at a colored display and then looking at a white surface, in which one sees green where the display had been red, red where it had been green, yellow where it had been blue, blue where it had been yellow, black where it had been white, and white where it had been black.

In psychology, a negative color afterimage is a perceptual phenomenon in which the complementary colors of an image appear after the original image is removed. For example, after viewing a red image, a negative color afterimage of green may appear. Here are some examples of negative color afterimages:

  1. Complementary colors: Negative color afterimages are most commonly observed when viewing colors that have complementary colors. For example, after viewing a yellow image, a negative color afterimage of blue may appear.

  2. Fatigue of cones: Negative color afterimages can also occur due to the fatigue of cone cells in the eyes. When staring at a particular color for an extended period, the cone cells responsible for detecting that color become fatigued, and the complementary colors become more prominent.

  3. Contrast: Negative color afterimages can also be influenced by the contrast between the original image and the surrounding environment. A higher contrast between the image and the background can lead to a more pronounced negative color afterimage.

  4. Persistence of vision: Negative color afterimages can also be explained by the persistence of vision. After an image is removed from the visual field, the visual system continues to process the image, leading to a residual neural activity that can create the afterimage.

  5. Adaptation: Negative color afterimages can also be caused by adaptation to a particular color. When the visual system adapts to a specific color, the complementary colors become more apparent when the original color is removed.

Overall, negative color afterimages are a fascinating phenomenon in psychology that can help us understand how the visual system processes and interprets colors. By studying this phenomenon, psychologists can gain insights into the underlying mechanisms of perception and sensory processing.

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