• Question: when you close your eyes and you see like different colours and shapes why does that happen?

    Asked by rachel1989 to Karen on 20 Nov 2013.
    • Photo: Karen McCarthy

      Karen McCarthy answered on 20 Nov 2013:

      Thats a great question Rachel, and don’t worry it happens to everyone!

      Although you may think when you close your eyes that your mind also closes down, its the opposite really – your brain and neurons are working as fast as ever. When your neurons fire collectively, they can act to create visual effects your eye tries to interpret, such as colours or light. The technical term for these things happening is called a “phosphene!”