Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

Edward A. Pace. 
must be muscular. The more obvious inference would be that the 
origin of the fluctuations is central and that the changes in accom¬ 
modation result from those processes which correspond to the changes 
in the attention. It would seem, at all events, that the accommodation 
apparatus is to some extent controlled by the direction of the at¬ 
In the fluctuations as they are usually observed, there is no 
voluntary change in the direction of the attention: it is not directed 
to other sorts of stimuli than the visual which are acting upon the 
sense-organ. Nevertheless, it must undergo change of some kind 
when the stimulus disappears. It cannot be, in all respects, the 
same function in the absence of the stimulus that it is in presence 
of the stimulus. When the gray ring or band of light vanishes, the 
attention is divided between the memory-image of that which has dis¬ 
appeared and the impression actually received from the general field. 
Again, while it may be said that the attitude of the attention in both 
phases of each fluctuation is one of expectancy, it is also true that 
the term of this expectation varies: in one phase, the observer awaits 
the disappearance of the stimulus, in the other, he looks for the re¬ 
appearance of the stimulus. In all probability, this variation of the 
attention must affect, though in a small degree, the processes of 
The entire series of changes, on this hypothesis, might thus be 
described: observation of a stimulus that differs but little from the 
larger field, produces a condition of fatigue in the retina, the degree 
of which is determined by the relative excitation of the central and 
the lateral regions. As a consequence of this fatigue, the stimulus 
under direct observation disappears. Its disappearance involves central 
changes which affect the process of attention. The variation, in content 
and in function, to which the attention is subjected, influences the 
accommodation-process. This, in turn, must produce some variation 
in the effect of the stimulus upon the visual organ, more especially 
its effect upon the retina. Eeappearance, therefore, of the stimulus, 
implies not only that a particular portion of the retina has recovered 
from its fatigue, but also that this recuperation is facilitated or impeded 
by the changes which occur in the accommodation-process. 
This would explain, partially, the interaction of the central and


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