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A phosphene is an entoptic phenomenon characterized by the experience of seeing light without light actually entering the eye. Phosphenes can be directly induced by mechanical, electrical, or magnetic stimulation of the retina or visual cortex as well as by random firing of cells in the visual system. Phosphenes have also been reported by people who go for long periods without visual stimulation
people [blind since birth] do not report phosphenes, whereas many persons blinded by accident or disease are conscious of phosphenes and indeed find them a source of visual entertainment (Oster 1970:87).