Entoptic Phenomena


In archaeology, the term entoptic phenomena relates to visual experiences derived from within the eye or brain (as opposed to externally, as in normal vision). In this respect they differ slightly from the medical definition, which defines entoptic phenomena as only applying to sources within the eye, not the brain. To avoid this confusion, the term subjective visual phenomena is sometimes used. Entoptic was chosen by author David Lewis Williams due to its origin from Greek meaning "coming from within"

There has been a great deal of work trying to find evidence of motifs and compositions derived from entoptic phenomena in prehistoric art, especially rock art and megalithic art. The justification of this research is that entoptic phenomena normally occur during states of altered consciousness, the practice of which may impact our views of ancient religious and social practice. The importance of looking outside traditional methods of research for interpreting prehistoric cultures is made more so due to the lack of abundant data which makes current cultural studies viable. "Art and the ability to comprehend it are more dependent on kinds of mental imagery and the ability to manipulate mental images than on intelligence."

Wikipedia: Entoptic Phenomena (archaeology)