I have made some new design for my private blog (a black design).

However, If I now read a blog piece and then look around I see around me all kinds of black/grey horizontals bars as after effect, getting dizzy from it.

I forgot how this effect is called and I wonder what I can do to prevent it. Is it maybe the combination of page background and black background of the blogpieces? Or should I turn everything white again?

  • Hmm.. I don't see it. Jul 21, 2011 at 19:36
  • 1
    @Billy read about a paragraph or tow on his blog, you will soon enough. :) It's a bit disorienting though. Jul 21, 2011 at 19:40
  • @Matt: I still don't see it. Given all the talk about the background below, perhaps my screen needs to be wider to see it. I only see maybe a centimeter of background on either side of a black box. Jul 21, 2011 at 19:42
  • @Billy - Yep, that's why, try zooming out a bit until you have about an inch or two. Jul 21, 2011 at 19:44
  • @Matt: Nope. Guess I'm just strange. Jul 21, 2011 at 19:45

4 Answers 4


Change the background. I just visited and i definitely see what you are talking about. I think it is produced from the variations in the rocks. When you are reading and they are not the main focus, your eyes start to go crazy. It reminds me of those visual illusions with the different color patterns that cause strange effects on the eyes.

  • I believe I first read about it in a class on Marr - Vision, still forgot the name (was 13 years ago lol), however thanks (as a well as the other answers), ill change the background.
    – edelwater
    Jul 21, 2011 at 20:33

The reason is that your background is too complicated and since it is repeated as well, causes flickering. The reason for this is how our eye sees motion. Like in animation frames go by and it makes something look like its moving. So when out eye sees your background its trying to track its movement.

I suggest using more Subtle Patterns, that the eye doesn't try to track as movement.


Yes please turn the background white again. It is much easier on the eyes. Part of the effect you were having with the picture background is still there with a solid dark background. It has to do with the eyes' image retention. Like when you look at a very bright object and you keep seeing a silhouette of its shape for up to a minute or so after you have stopped looking at it.


I think this is a variation of the Movement After Effect (MAE). When exposed to movement stimulus our minds adapt to it and become desensitised. When our eyes fixate elsewhere there is a 'spill over' due to visual perception system still compensating for the movement we adapted to.

In terms of the background on the blog, there is a similar effect occurring, possibly due to an adaptation to the strong brightness and contrast. The horizontal bars seen when looking away from the screen is an 'afterglow' in your visual perception of the text.

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