Optical illusions in clinical dermatology: The mach band phenomenon and afterimages

Richard F. Wagne, D. L. Shriner, K. D. Wagner, D. Bloomquist

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations


A survey of dermatologists was conducted to determine whether the perceptions of afterimages and Mach bands impacted on clinical dermatology practice. 26.5% (13/49) of respondents indicated that they perceived one or both of these optical illusions. No false-positive potassium hydroxide interpretations of skin scrapings for hyphae were reported due to perceived afterimages, and no skin biopsies were reportedly performed as a result of Mach bands.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)245-247
Number of pages3
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1992



  • Afterimage
  • False-positive
  • Mach band
  • Optical illusion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology

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