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The San Francisco call. (San Francisco [Calif.]) 1895-1913, January 16, 1898, Image 17

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Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85066387/1898-01-16/ed-1/seq-17/

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TO live for over a week with on^
eye entirely excluded from light
and with the other to
through a tube set to b
which turn upside down every
object upon which you gaze,
■which turn upon the wrong end the
■whole worM about you ■ it to
appear that everyone with whom you
talk is standing upon his head, to con
tinue this for Buch a period that the
mind becomes lost to the old arra
ment cf thi gs and accepts the ;:
the normal, such an ex; ■ 'iring
the transition, would c
crazy, but it has i
upon George M. Sti
psychology of the urlveraity at Berke
ley, who has lately subjected himself
to such an experience.
The professor ■ . [ Jn this ■
experiment for the pun testing
a theory of the science hioh
holds that in order for Th mind to
graep the posith n <.f an object as an
upright it is n Bsary | mina
to Invert the Image of !'; when the
Image is projected from the eye the
mind gets the idea of it being in the
position in which it actually is, but in
order t-> gel thai Idea, a. [.art of the
process of the eye's operations is to
turn the object upside down, so that
the Image j n the retina is Inverted.
The purpose <>f Professor Strattnn's
investigation was to combat this the
ory of science and to show that the
mind's acceptance of the positions of
things depends upon relations of
space, touch and the locations of other
objects. That it Is entirely possible to
perceive upright positions and accord
our movements to their locations In
space by going through the world with
all objects appearing in exactly the
position that their images stand in the
retina of the eye. It was to prove this,
to show that one could come to accom
modate himself to an upside down
world, could live in it, work through it
and not suffer Inconvenience from the
topsyturvyy turvy aspect of things, that Pro
fessor Stratton endured his curious or
Throughout he carefully noted his
sensations, analyzed his own conduct,
the tendency of his will, the sugges
tions of his mind ai a copious
diary of his f-xj which he
transmitted to an Eastern specialist
mapazine devoted to psychological sci
ence. Advance sheets of the contribu
tion showing it to be forty-five napes
long have reached the professor at his
home in Berkeley.
The professor arranged a mask to
wear over his face, with a set of
lenses fitting both eyes. It was found,
however, that this contrivance could
not be used. At a short distance from
the unobEtructc-d eyes their lines of
sight converge and both eyes receive
the same impression of the one object.
But the professor's tubes were about
four inches long:, and their projection
Interfered with this coalescence of the
retinal lines, so that there were set up
distlncr. imapes of the . objects seen.
Headache supervened after these dual
tubes had been worn but a few min
utes, and thfs increased in severity as
the hours wore on, until it ultimately
became unedurable and the left tube
with its lens was taken out of the
mask, leaving only the right one re
THE CALL Sunday Edition
The left eye was then carefully ban
1 with soft black cloths, the mask
was adjusted with its single tub
so worn during the waking hoi:
th-> eight days' experiment. Th
r has ma I I sts, the fir?t be
ing one of two days, being half of the
first day. the whole of the second
a part of the third day, the resu
which wei . a paper read
■•;;r before the Psychological C ■•
at Munich; I i and pro
d, 'T eight-d ■ I I warn made
at Berkeley. In both tests the mask
was worn all day and removed at ni^ht,
the eyes being closed while the re
was taking place, wh»r upon a
■as adjusted. During the
tesi the professor remained en
tirely within doors, but while the
ond waa In proern-ss he spent much of
the time In the open air. accompa
guide who directed him when he
me confused or was inclined to go
The round, clear field of vision which
the till." allowed him was a compass of
45 degrees, or less than half the range
of sight of one unobstructed eye, which
is 110 degrees. This limit of' his field
of observation precluded the professor
from seeing any part of his body ex
cept the lower portion of the trunk and
limbs, 'and the lower halves of his
arms. These members, as soon as the
mask was justed, became strnngoly
inverted.. The left hand, seemed the
right hand and vice versa; the feel
were reversed and the legs, instead of
leading upward and toward him, were
directed downward and out of the field
of his vision. His chest seemed to be
a cavity, his throat and head a -<'oid.
He lowered his head to reflect where
• ' 'he fire heated his scnlp
and caused him to Instinctively place
his hand on the top of it; as he did
so he licoamp happily conscious that It
was still there.
i The room was upside down. All ob
jects and utensils upon the floor seemed
to stick against the celling and to defy
the laws of gravitation. The flames
■of the wood fire in the fireplace. In
stead of leaping upward, seemed to be
an inverted cone of yellow blase, fall
ing from the ceiling to the floor. Things
did not seem real; the results of sight
appeared illusory, as though they were
the distorted representations of real
things which were in some way con
cealed by them. Wherever he looked
the arrangement was the same Con
fusion seized the professor. Cautious
ly he approached a rocking chair. Con
fusion again; instead of nearing it he
was leaving it! Tie must needs pro
! ceed backward with acute concentra
! tion of mind and careful- calculation.
Presently he reached it, turned his eye
tube from it while, he felt its seat to
assure himself it was there and right
side up: then with a sigh of relief he
sank Into it, rocked back,', when, lo!
instead of moving downward and for
ward with the motion toward the fire
' as he sat facing it. It seemed he was
moving upward and backward, while
the backward rock threatened to tum
ble him headlong in front. Nowhere
was there comfort and It was with the
utmost difficulty that the professor
could remain | seated and yield himself
to his reflections. „ . .^t^ : .'
As he did so, however, he meditated
For the purpose of ascertaining a few scientific facts, Professor Stratton, curator of the department of psychology at the State University, subjected himself to
an ordeal such as few men would be willing to pass through. With a lens fastened in front of his eyes he tried to live his usual life for eight days. This lens
turned the world upside down as far as appearances went, and with these strange, uncanny surroundings Professor Stratton had his being for over a week. His
experience was a most trying one, but he lived through it and found out a few things of great scientific importance.
11 •.-> «o «n *- • m • »- m- ao ao •? ■ • •• • ♦ • • »? »r •? f,' • • • • •) »J 10 *!|3 15 RU Id m I! t3 ri: «> m n n m •■> *■ • > ■ • a■> •-■ «r •- •-! «i an mn mr> «r> «o mr, «.-. •- «~ ••>•-> »~ •-> •■•> »^ mr* mr, • » •/-, m^ •-% «~ «~ -
that what disturbed him was not the I
things he saw, but the things he re- j
membered. The visual arrangement of j
objects clashed with the Images in his j
mind of their arrangement Impressed
by past experience. He tried to feel]
that as soon as he could banish his j
mental adjustment of objects, supplant j
them with the new order Of things, he i
would no longer suffer those qualms ■
and surprises which now visited him. j
T us composed, he arose to seek the !
It* .n which surrounds the house. All {
movements of his limbs were exceed
ing awkward. Only when the action
was regardless of what he saw, and un- :
der the guidance of touch or memory,
as when one moves in the dark. could
his walking or movements of the hand
be performed with reasonable security
and directness. Otherwise the process
was a series of attempts and correc
tions. The limbs started In the oppo
site direction from the one really de
sired. "When I saw an object r;.-ar one
of my hands," he says, "and wis!
grasp it with that hand, the other hand
was the one I moved. The mistake was
then seen, and by trial, observation
and correction, the desired movement
at last brought about."
Finally reaching the lawn, the pro
r surveyed th*- trees growing out
of the sky, noted that the firmament
h.'id become ceiled with cement In long
sidewalk Btreaks, and observed, I
he looked ahead of him that I
ver a blue vault brushed
with golden sunlight, but which h
•■!. Suddenly some one picked up
:l stone and threw it. The pr^"
saw it leave the thrower's hand, re
marked the direction it was bring sent
and anticipated the sound of its falling
on his left. Whack! It struck the Bide
of the house on his right; the proi
quickly looked around and then
the Btructure, stuck against the g
sky, its contents held within it by a
massive peaked nnd shingled bottom.
During the early (lays i t the • ■■
it ions the professor hud
were that the field was Inverted. As
on, h< i'.\ ev< r, he ame 1
that the trouble whs not In his sur
roundings bul In himself; that he was
ted. "If the attention was direct
ed mainly Inward." he says,
fa \\>-vc- viewed in indirect at ten -
■ 1 clearly to be Inverted.
But when on the other hand full atten
tion was given t<. the outer ol
these frequently seemed to be in nor
posltlon, and whatever was of ab
normality seemed to lie In mysHf, as
If head find shoulders were Inverted
and I were viewing objects from that
position, as boys sometimes do from
between their l^gs; at other times the
Inversion seen* d to be confined to the
face and eyes alone."
Hut after the second day the situa
tion began to improve. Much of the
confusion which attended the early
stages of tii<> experiment had pnnscd
away and the condition was no longer
a strain upon the nerves. The pr
sor was even able to walk abroad and
enjoy the physical delights presented
In this strange aspect of thr scenery.
Commensurate with this change,
or images of adjustment In the normal
faded away, and were replaced by th>
inverted order. When places or objects
were recalled, they did not recur in the
old adjustments, but in the new. If a
<halr was Bought about the room, the
imagination did not fancy jt in n Mor
mal position, to be shocked when it was
found upside down: the memory took
hold of it as inverted and when the eye
caught it there was harmony within
tlu' mind when the actual fitted the jm-
With all this came Internal peace
and composure. The professor had
turned his world end for end and he
was comfortably living in it.
At night he slept well and though the
' Inhabitant! <>f his dream* di<l not
sn:iift) around for him on their heads,
for his mental workings in s
still to project upon the normal plan.-.
when he ji\v..k>- the position of objects
I instantly took <,n the Inverted form
I and caused him no discomfort thereby.
And so walkinp up and down the
; town in a passive contemplative way,
j at evening writing the sum of his day's
i experiences in a strangely hieropiyph
ical chlrography upon a paper pad
I turned upside down, po the professor
j wore on these days. At last came the
I final hour set to close the period of his
experiment. He had come to look up
on his round p'>rt h"]e upse( view of
j the world as being altogether proper
! and rational. It felt apreeable to him.
he was comfortable when lookinp out
upon it, when, alas! the puide slipped
out the lenses and left the black tube
sticking there without glasses, and,
presto! all was turned about again.
This wan the normal, regular old world
he looked upon now, but how changed!
rhe In 'us.- sat there Hat on the ground
md would not turn bottom upward for
Taught. The trees grew stubbornly In
he unmoving earth, despite the pr
eellng that It was all wrong, that
tumid be growing downward: and
there was that fire cracking away in
that ; had <'>me down
From the ceiling and now lay provok
inciy below his Held of vision while It
■ imht to b.- above.
Th>> entire scene swam before him. as
had Km l ie first put on
:h-- lenses. VerUgd seised the experi
menter, confusion returned: h^ grew
El* 77 C SyS A Instantly Relieved
UsfaClflA And Speedily Cured By
Distressing Skin Humors \UHvlllct
-»: d r,.-s-,:-;::r- '"irSSHi- 9 *a KL%srKir tss.rs.ms sr
Not Able to See Unable One a Skin Specialist. Would Drive Him Mad. Under Opiates.
To Slcgd fop Weeks —
From Severe Pain. Friends (who had been Cured) TRIFn ruTiriißA RFMFniES Thought Ear Would Slough Off
From Severe Pain. Say "Try Cuticura Remedies" ™ ED 'J™ ™"^. "w" w E p 1 , p .rf Evefy Known Remedy Tried,
c- a n~Z~^~* d 1 Does So Without Faith. And Was Completely Cured. Physicians Skill Baffled.
Friends Could Not Recognize To Great Surprise Not a Trace or Pimple *
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Thrift rwtnr<s Onuirf Cuticura Remedies. Noticed
1 nice wuuiuia vuuiu I hare been an Intense sufferer of that awful I teas afflictedwith Eczema for seven years, Rpfipf in One Wepk
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lwl ncllCYCl five years. I tried everyone's advice in modi back, three inches of which was covered with
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______ .-.__.._ one of our specialists in skin diseases, with : itching was so bad I thought it would drive rtnrtu I UUiiC IH llf U mUrl Ino
CURED IN TWO WEEKS no improvement at all, and from tune to niPm ad. I can't explain my feelings. I tried
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from friends (whom your medicines cured kesiedies. I took five bottles of Resolvent.
PIITIOIinA nriimirr completely) I gate myself op to (cticcra five cakes of Soap, and five boxes of Cm- When my little daughter. May, was elgh-
11 1 i l lnu nriVlrlllrN Remedies, expecting them to result as all crRA salve, and to my surprise, I trait com- teen months old, her head and face broke
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I have suffered with a case of Eczema of „ HA kf^.i vkn r. and one box of Cuticura Y ou wish. C. LONG, - off. Her suffering was intense, getting no
the worst kind, my race and neck down to my Salve. I found myself completely cured. April 12, 1897. 325 Wilton Aye., Toronto, Can. rest at all, unless under the influence of opi-
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able to see out of my eyes for quite a while. ..a.-.,., OSMMiIIOCAOC CP7CMI CDOM DIDTU t&^*«&^:™*™%£&
and was unable to sleep for weeks, on account ft Wl* 1 1 \a I 111 '?i\r II \ I- rli/rIVIQ ml IIS I 11 1 HI II to get worse all the time. Distracted with
of the severe pain, which nearly drove me in- H1 1 IU L UJVIII UIULnUL 1-Ul-L.lfin lllUlll UIIIIII her condition, I did not, know what to do,
"T My ,T,??' lll " k ,rV w °'' e ° ! '^ Suffered UntSd7^"ny Two Years nt , ZT7T\ ... « n^™™* ! i l ™cZS e *l°&SX2Z's£
:™:.''Tr^:;i:n;,,/r»t;™;:;^ Itching and BurL| Terrible. Baby was soim BMb All Over
not have known me, only on account of my Had tO Give Up Work Entirely. Gave Up, and Thought She Before the first week I noticed that the Httl»
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and intense pain I endured all that time, '"irniiT ai da DCMrmce — ; bathed her with the Soap , and used the Oint-
nnwnmior thit thr™ «r« «« mnnr .i,ipi.i.« OF l/UIH-»UriA li ClYi tUI to. •..•■_«» ■• -»- \ki i l ment freely, and in less than two months my
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was made a new man. hundreds of dollars trying to get relief. for the good It has done mv baby. From the fee fit, and I will gladly answer any and all
Mv first bottle of Cnirrnt. n^rrrv. All the time L was suffering untold agony, time she was born she had Eczema. When inquiries made to me with reference to the
Sly first bottle of CrrrictmA Resolvent an.l ftnally had to give np work entirelj . Like she was six months old we commenced doc- above stated facts. MRS. JAMES MELTON,
was taken on I «b. 18, 1897, also Cuticura a s h,king person, I grasped at ever>thing I saw toring her, but she only got worse, until she Oct. 20, 1897. 5 Hatden St., Atlanta, Qa.
(ointment) and Cuticura Soap. There was advertised. The burning, itching fix I was in was a solid scab all over. We had given up, Witness, J. G. Ahkrn. ;.:•-.*
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„ . ,„„,,„„. ,„ „ '.n^snouniersana n CirricUKA rbmkdisr were suggested. one day I read of Cuticura Remedies and Georgia. Fulton Couimr.
necK turning to tneir natural color. The warm bath of Citticura Soap, anoint- decided to try them. I got one cake of Soap, In person appeared before me, Edgar H.
I used a total of three bottles or Cuticura ing with Cuticura, and the use of the Rnoi>- one bottle of Resolvent, and a tin of Oint- Orr, a Justice of the Peace in and for the 1028
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tlirPci-iUifirn c , *-i j flrst, and I experienced a soothing relief not- directed, and in tun weeks she was entirely J. G.Ahern, who being duly sworn, deposeth
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sick at the stomach, while perspiration
1 his brow, lie looked upon the
and it Bloped upward away from
him. The windows were altogether too
high in th.- positions in which they
He staggered to the door; with
which hand should he seize the knob!
rejected his ritrht. alas! he had
: hold of the wrong door. He lo
cated the proper one by a familiar
sound of the metal lock. He lifted his
foot to place it upon a rising Btep;
down it came and he drove forward,
the elusive step was a foot away. "A
really serious disturbance was set üb." !
says the professor, who began to get
frightened at thoughts of the possible
permanency of his disordered vision.
Quickly he removed the mask, took the
cloths from his imprisoned left eye.
when, ah! the light entering it pi<
it like hot needles; copimis tears im
mediately suffused it. The light was
too painful to be endured. The profes
sor repaired to a darkened room, ad
: black n.-tting in front of the eye.
and gradually coaxed it Into usefulness
by subjecting it fur periods to low de
grees of light, varying higher as the
day wore on. But it was an entire day
and a part of the following before that
right eye came to be satisfied with
things which were sitting on their bot
toms, nor ceased to desire to view them
as being hung from aloft.
But as a result of his experiment the
professor claims to have established
the position he sought to attest. "The
difficulty of seeing things upright by
means of upright retinal images," he
says, "seems to consist solely in the re
sistance offered by the long-establish
•■•l previous experience. There is cer
tainly no peculiar inherent difficulty
arisinsr from the new conditions

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