The visual system is the part of the nervous system which allows organisms to see. It interprets the information from visible light to build a representation of the world surrounding the body. The visual system has the complex task of (re)constructing a three dimensional world from a two dimensional projection of that world. The psychological manifestation of visual information is known as visual perception.
Introduction[change | change source]
This article mostly describes the visual system of mammals, although other "higher" animals have similar visual systems. In this case, the visual system consists of:
- The eye, especially the retina
- The optic nerve
- The optic chiasma
- The optic tract
- The lateral geniculate nucleus
- The optic tectum (superior colliculus)
- The optic radiation
- The visual cortex
- The visual association cortex
Different species are able to see different parts of the light spectrum; for example, bees can see into the ultraviolet, while pit vipers can accurately target prey with their infrared imaging sensors.
References[change | change source]
- J Bellingham, SE Wilkie, AG Morris, JK Bowmaker and DM Hunt (1997), "Characterisation of the ultraviolet-sensitive opsin gene in the honey bee, Apis mellifera", European Journal of Biochemistry, Vol 243, 775-781
- AB Safer and MS Grace (2004), "Infrared imaging in vipers: differential responses of crotaline and viperine snakes to paired thermal targets". Behav Brain Res. 154(1):55-61. 2004 Sep 23.
- David H. Hubel 1989. Eye, Brain and Vision. New York: Scientific American Library.
- David Marr 1982. Vision: A Computational Investigation into the Human Representation and Processing of Visual Information. San Francisco: Freeman.
- R.W. Rodiek 1988. The Primate Retina. In Comparative Primate Biology. vol 4 of Neurosciences. eds H.D. Steklis and J. Erwin. pp. 203–278. New York: A.R. Liss.
- Matthew Schmolesky, The Primary Visual Cortex Archived 2004-12-29 at the Wayback Machine
- Martin J. Tovée 1996. An introduction to the visual system. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-48339-5
- Andreas Vesalius 1543. De Humani Corporis Fabrica (On the Workings of the Human Body)
- Torsten Wiesel and David H. Hubel 1963. The effects of visual deprivation on the morphology and physiology of cell's lateral geniculate body. Journal of Neurophysiology 26, 978-993.
Other websites[change | change source]
- "Webvision: The Organization of the Retina and Visual System" - John Moran Eye Center at University of Utah
- VisionScience.com - An online resource for researchers in vision science.
- Journal of Vision - An online, open access journal of vision science.