After images

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After images by StingrayZ - This image serves as an accurate portrayal of the commonly experienced psychedelic effect known as after images. There is also a significant amount of visual drifting within its background.

After images (also known as palinopsia) are defined as visual perceptions which continue to appear in one's vision after exposure to the original image has ceased.[1][2][3] A common form of after image is the bright glow that seems to float in one's vision after looking into a light source for a few seconds. This effect is similar to tracers, but differs in that it does not create smooth blurs behind moving objects.

During hallucinogenic experiences, moving objects can produce a trail of overlayed, still images behind their path of motion.[2][4][5][6][7][8] This creates a series of overlayed images of a moving object across one's visual field which become more faded the longer the duration since the object occupied that location in space. Another common manifestation of this effect is being able to see a residual image of the external environment for several seconds after one closes their eyes before it gradually fades away.

After images are often accompanied by other coinciding effects such as tracers[5][9][10] and drifting.[4] They are most commonly induced under the influence of moderate dosages of psychedelic compounds, such as LSD, psilocybin, and mescaline.[11] However, trailing effects have also been experienced with other drugs of a very different pharmacology, such as GABA potentiators.[7]

Psychoactive substances

Compounds within our psychoactive substance index which may cause this effect include:

... further results

Experience reports

Anecdotal reports which describe this effect within our experience index include:

See also

External links


  1. Kleinman, J. E.; Gillin, J. C.; Wyatt, R. J. (1977). "A Comparison of the Phenomenology of Hallucinogens and Schizophrenia From Some Autobiographical Accounts*". Schizophrenia Bulletin. 3 (4): 560–586. doi:10.1093/schbul/3.4.560. ISSN 0586-7614. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 Abraham, Henry David (1983). "Visual Phenomenology of the LSD Flashback". Archives of General Psychiatry. 40 (8): 884. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1983.01790070074009. ISSN 0003-990X. 
  3. Bender, Morris B.; Feldman, Martin; Sobin, Allan J. (1968). "PALINOPSIA". Brain. 91 (2): 321–338. doi:10.1093/brain/91.2.321. ISSN 0006-8950. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 Papoutsis, Ioannis; Nikolaou, Panagiota; Stefanidou, Maria; Spiliopoulou, Chara; Athanaselis, Sotiris (2014). "25B-NBOMe and its precursor 2C-B: modern trends and hidden dangers". Forensic Toxicology. 33 (1): 1–11. doi:10.1007/s11419-014-0242-9. ISSN 1860-8965. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 Abraham, Henry D.; Wolf, Ernst (1988). "Visual function in past users of LSD: Psychophysical findings". Journal of Abnormal Psychology. 97 (4): 443–447. doi:10.1037/0021-843X.97.4.443. ISSN 1939-1846. 
  6. Kawasaki, Aki (1996). "Persistent Palinopsia Following Ingestion of Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD)". Archives of Ophthalmology. 114 (1): 47. doi:10.1001/archopht.1996.01100130045007. ISSN 0003-9950. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 Dubois, Julien; VanRullen, Rufin (2011). "Visual Trails: Do the Doors of Perception Open Periodically?". PLoS Biology. 9 (5): e1001056. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1001056. ISSN 1545-7885. 
  8. Ermentrout B. The excited cortex - LSD trails, phosphenes, and other visual confections. 1999. 201 Eighth Annual Computational Neuroscience Meeting; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; July 1999. Abstracts.
  9. Asher, Harvey (1971). ""Trailing" Phenomenon—A Long-Lasting LSD Side Effect". American Journal of Psychiatry. 127 (9): 1233–1234. doi:10.1176/ajp.127.9.1233. ISSN 0002-953X. 
  10. Schwartz, K. (1997). "Nefazodone and visual side effects". American Journal of Psychiatry. 154 (7): 1038a–11038. doi:10.1176/ajp.154.7.1038a. 
  11. Lauterbach, E.; Abdelhamid, A.; Annandale, J. (2000). "Posthallucinogen-Like Visual Illusions (Palinopsia) with Risperidone in a Patient without Previous Hallucinogen Exposure: Possible Relation to Serotonin 5HT2a Receptor Blockade". Pharmacopsychiatry. 33 (01): 38–41. doi:10.1055/s-2000-8452. ISSN 0176-3679.