Questions regarding how the brain interprets information from the eyes. Consider using the "eyes" tag for discussion of eye anatomy, physiology and evolution.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

69
votes
5answers
2k views

Is there a reason why human eyesight and plants make use of the same wavelength of light?

The accepted range for the wavelengths of light that the human eye can detect is roughly between 400nm and 700nm. Is it a co-incidence that these wavelengths are identical to those in the ...
26
votes
4answers
1k views

Why did life not evolve to use radio?

We use electromagnetic communication everywhere these days. Cell phones, wifi, old-school radio transmissions, television, deep space communication, etc. I'm curious about some of the possible ...
21
votes
5answers
9k views

Does red light preserve your night vision?

A number of companies have started marketing LED lamps that can be switched to a red mode. The claim is that red light is less harmful to one's night vision. Given that our eyes are less sensitive to ...
21
votes
1answer
2k views

Why do stars disappear when I look at them?

I've noticed that when I'm out at night stars seem to vanish when I focus on them. I assume the reason is physiological and not astronomic. Why does this happen? I would expect that things would be ...
15
votes
1answer
164 views

Haidinger's brush: Is this a by-product of the eye's physics, or are there any evolutionary grounds for it?

The human eye is, very subtly, sensitive to the polarization of light. This is an effect known as Haidinger's brush (see Wikipedia article of this name). What, if anything, is known or at least ...
14
votes
1answer
3k views

What do you see when your eyes are closed?

If you are in pitch black and you close your eyes, you sometimes can see strange shapes of various colors. A lot of the time these shapes and colors change as you observe them. This phenomenon still ...
13
votes
1answer
193 views

Effect of pupil responses on the electroretinogram

The electroretinogram (ERG) is generally considered to reflect the retinal processing of a light stimulus, typically a photoreceptor response followed by secondary neuronal activity. I am wondering ...
12
votes
3answers
3k views

Superhuman eyesight

My ten year old son was reading car number plates that were too fast, too far away and at the wrong angle for any of us to read or even believe that it was possible for him to read. We thought he was ...
12
votes
2answers
525 views

When did vision evolve for the first time?

Today I wondered what the first organism to evolve vision would have been. I assume that it would have been kind of primitive and basic, but of course extremely innovative and eventually useful to a ...
12
votes
2answers
205 views

Can a color-deficient person be made to visualize the missing colors?

Hope this is within the scope of this site. Color-deficient persons lack the cells in their retina needed for differentiating some (or all) colors. However, the part of the brain that actually ...
11
votes
6answers
3k views

What is the use of eye banks, if eyeball transplants do not exist at present?

Corneas are donated and transplanted, but not the eyeball. I don't understand. What is the purpose of donating a cornea without an eyeball to a blind person?
11
votes
1answer
152 views

Are there specific conditions that allow humans to see ultraviolet wavelengths

It is fairly common knowledge that the lens in its normal state absorbs ultraviolet (UV) radiation. An interesting notion has come up from time to time in my reading that suggests there are a small ...
10
votes
4answers
3k views

Why can cones detect color but rods can't?

I don't know if this question applies to only humans but why can cones see much greater detail than rods? Is it possible to have a rod that can detect light intensity and color?
10
votes
2answers
498 views

If human eyes watch an area, what's the shape of its capturing shape? Rectangular? Half spherical?

A normal camera can capture a rectangular image. If human eyes watch an area, what's the shape of the captured region? Rectangular? Half-spherical?
10
votes
2answers
641 views

Do insects with compound eyes have depth perception?

Do insects with compound eyes have depth perception? They fly as if they do, but their eyes are so close together it seems like the image would be 2 dimensional.
10
votes
1answer
320 views

What are the “stars” we see after a bump on the head?

Sorry if this might appear funny. When I close my eyes for a longer time, and suddenly open it, I see some twinkling white small circles, and when i concentrate on anyone of them it disappears, as ...
9
votes
1answer
500 views

Why does this illusion work?

This is another image I found on Google+ All lines are absolutely straight, parallel and perpendicular but why does it appear to have a curvature? Related: How does this illusion work?
9
votes
1answer
1k views

How does this illusion work?

I found this image on Google+ If you shake your head you can see a portrait of a person. Can anyone explain how the image is constructed in the brain?
9
votes
1answer
188 views

Seeing strange things in light

I have noticed that if you look directly at tubelight (I have only white ones in my home) and close your eyes little, you see little random shaped colourless things sometimes with slow speed and ...
9
votes
2answers
94 views

Is mammalian vision processed as a sequence of frames?

I often read that people believe that human vision has an inherent frames-per-second rate (FPS) that causes stroboscopic effects - such as seeing the spokes of a rotating wheel apparently rotating at ...
9
votes
1answer
87 views

Is our color vision calibrated to sky, vegetation, and blood?

Our color vision is based on three types of receptors (cones) which are sensitive to three distinct locations on the spectrum: 420–440 nm, 534–555 nm, and 564–580 nm. We label them "red", "green", ...
9
votes
2answers
29k views

Which shades/hues of color are easiest to distinguish for humans?

I'm trying to represent data graphically and am using a variation of hue/lightness to distinguish one data point from the next. I would like to use a color that would allow me to convey most ...
9
votes
1answer
215 views

Which organism has the sharpest vision?

Which organism has the sharpest vision in terms of distance and spectrum. Please propose any other useful measure.
8
votes
1answer
114 views

Dogs bark at familiar person in Santa costume. Why? Don't dogs trust smell over vision?

Last night 10 humans and 2 dogs spent Christmas together. At some point, one human dissappears for a few minutes and comes back wearing a full Santa outfit. Upon respawning, the dogs start barking ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

Dark veil when getting up too fast

I was asking myself this weird question. When you get up or stand up too fast, sometimes, you see something like a dark veil, and you aren't able to see anything distinctly for 2 or 3 seconds, then ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

What is the difference between a circular and a cat's-eye pupil?

I've been to local zoo the other day and one lizard caught my attention: its pupils are circular, which, I thought, is not usual for reptiles. Turns out it is, but now I can't find any explanation on ...
7
votes
2answers
582 views

Does every human eye see the same visible spectrum?

It is said that human eye can see light with wavelength approximately between 400nm and 700nm. Are these upper and lower bounds same for every human? If not, what are the means and standard ...
7
votes
2answers
536 views

How do we know the brain flips images projected on the retina back around?

Why do we turn images upside down again rather than dealing with them directly, still vertically rotated after passing through our lens? I don't see how that would cause any problems, and how we'd ...
7
votes
1answer
389 views

What causes light to be brighter in the corner of the eyes?

I have noticed when in a dark room light and color seem to be brighter and more intense in the corner of my eyes. For example the light that comes from my digital clock seems like a dark pink when I ...
7
votes
2answers
66 views

Can the eye distinguish between pure and composite colours and how do we measure this?

Red light plus green light makes yellow light. Suppose I shone a pure red light, say 650nm, onto the same spot as a pure green light, say 550nm. The eye sees this two-peak spectrum as yellow. This ...
7
votes
1answer
102 views

Can rapid eye blinking induce epileptic seizures?

Photosensitive epilepsies are characterized by visually-induced seizures. Flashing-light stimuli are known to induce seizures in some (but not all) patients. My question is whether people with this ...
7
votes
1answer
72 views

Can people with paralyzed eye muscles see?

As far as I am aware, the saccades of the eye are central to sight perception. If the eye is held still, the human stops seeing, even if light is reaching the retina and the visual pathway is intact. ...
6
votes
4answers
300 views

Is human vision sensitive to frequency or wavelength?

In a vacuum, there is a one-to-one correspondence between light frequency ($\nu$) and wavelength ($\lambda$), ie. $\lambda=c/\nu$. But in a refractive medium, $\lambda=v/\nu$, so while the frequency ...
6
votes
1answer
950 views

What is the field of view for the human eyes?

I'd like to know how much a person can see regarding the angles. If it is a rectangle, I'd like to know it's height and width. But if is another shape, I'd like to know which kind of shape and the ...
6
votes
1answer
145 views

How is color information transmitted from the eye to the brain?

Is color information sent from the eye to the brain frequency-modulated, or are different colors transmitted by different axons? I know that each ganglion cell is connected to multiple ...
6
votes
1answer
108 views

How does myopia develop, exactly?

Recently I was reading about myopia and I understood a few basic facts about it: Its initial cause is a constant spasm in the ciliary muscle. To do less work, the eyeball elongates a tiny bit. ...
6
votes
2answers
125 views

Advantage of opponent color?

Opponent process is a color theory that states that the human visual system interprets information about color by processing signals from cones and rods in an antagonistic manner (source). What is ...
6
votes
1answer
92 views

How well do we notice asynchronicity?

I'm stopped at a stoplight and, with nothing to do, my thoughts wander to the timed don't-walk sign that governs any pedestrians who might wish to cross the street I'm driving along. I can see two ...
5
votes
1answer
874 views

What gives things their colour?

My 6 year old daughter asked me 2 biology-related questions yesterday and I tried my best to answer them with the aid of YouTube videos. One of the questions (I may post the other one too) was ...
5
votes
1answer
31 views

Why can I see a light flicker when it's in my peripheral vision?

When I'm looking at an old CRT monitor or a worn fluorescent lamp, but not directly in the center of my gaze, the light from it seems to flicker. When I focus my gaze onto the monitor or lamp, the ...
5
votes
4answers
742 views

Are there animals which can see movements better than shapes or colors?

I remember that in Michael Crichton's novel Jurassic Park, Tyrannosaurus Rex was supposed to have movement based vision. (Of course, that is a novel and not a scientific text.) I have also noticed ...
5
votes
2answers
697 views

Why does squinting allow you to see objects more clearly?

How does squinting alllow one to see clearer pictures? What are the harmful effects?
5
votes
1answer
161 views

How does someone with red-green colorblindness see yellow on a monitor/television?

I recently watched the video This Is Not Yellow explaining how red, green, and blue pixels can be used to create images of all other colors. Since yellow is created with red and green pixels, how is a ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Does coloring affect the perception of depth?

I have a question about the mechanics of human vision which may be as much of a physics question as it is a biology/physiology question. I noticed that if I try to imagine a clear blue daytime sky ...
5
votes
1answer
97 views

Congenital blindness due to retinitis pigmentosa - does it exist?

Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) patients typically become blind after a period of years in which their eye sight slowly deteriorates due to photoreceptor degeneration. Generally RP patients develop ...
5
votes
1answer
111 views

Do blind people learn Braille equally fast as the sighted?

The visually deprived brain undergoes extensive remodeling due to cross-modal plasticity. This leads to increased areas of the cortex being available for other purposes such as tactile processing. Now ...
5
votes
1answer
70 views

Are some facial features more important than others in human facial recognition?

I'm often surprised by the human ability to correctly identify other individuals despite significant modifications due to ageing, hairstyle, injury, etc. But, sometimes the addition of a beard and a ...
5
votes
1answer
79 views

Can the negative afterimage appear only if there is light or is it possible in darkness?

Reading the following paragraph: After staring at the red and blue shamrock, you saw a green and yellow afterimage. Opponent-process theory proposes that as you stared at the red and blue ...
5
votes
2answers
90 views

Improving myopia

I have a friend who no longer needs glasses. He previously had myopia in both eyes but over the years it has improved until he no longer needs glasses clinically. He's had glasses for over 30 years ...
5
votes
0answers
326 views

Reason for seeing grid-like patterns when strobing a solid black-white image?

I was trying to do some stimulation for SSVEPs by strobing a solid black square and a solid white square. Weird thing was, I ended up seeing weird grid like patterns that looked like this, always of ...