phi phenomenon

noun

Definition of phi phenomenon

: apparent motion resulting from an orderly sequence of stimuli (such as lights flashed in rapid succession a short distance apart on a sign) without any actual motion being presented to the eye

First Known Use of phi phenomenon

circa 1928, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for phi phenomenon

translation of German φ-Phänomen

Note: The term was introduced by the psychologist Max Wertheimer (1880-1943, born in Prague, Austria-Hungary, in the U.S. from 1933) in "Experimentelle Studien über das Sehen von Bewegung," Zeitschrift für Psychologie und Physiologie der Sinnesorgane, 1. Abteilung, Zeitschrift für Psychologie, Band 61, Heft 1 (April, 1912), pp. 161-265.

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The first known use of phi phenomenon was circa 1928

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Cite this Entry

“Phi phenomenon.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/phi%20phenomenon. Accessed 15 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for phi phenomenon

phi phenomenon

noun
\ ˈfī- How to pronounce phi phenomenon (audio) \

Medical Definition of phi phenomenon

: apparent motion resulting from an orderly sequence of stimuli (as lights flashed in rapid succession a short distance apart on a sign) without any actual motion being presented to the eye — compare apparent motion

More from Merriam-Webster on phi phenomenon

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about phi phenomenon

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