Why do we see strange lights, movements and patterns when our eyes are closed?

60 viewsBiologyOther

Why do we see strange lights, movements and patterns when our eyes are closed?

In: Biology

Anonymous 0 Comments

They’re called phosphenes. Phosphenes can be retained images from over stimulation (e.g. looking at bright light or staring at an image for a long time) and can also be caused by physical stimulation (e.g. pressure on the eyeball).

In the case of physical stimulation, it is thought that pressure on the retina (the part at the back of your eyeball that captures the light and transmits the image to your brain via the optic nerve) causes a response similar to activation by light.

Also, as you’ve almost certainly realized by now, eyelids are not fully opaque, so some light enters the closed eye through the eyelid if ambient light is bright enough.