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

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86
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5answers
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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 ...
52
votes
2answers
8k views

What is the evolutionary advantage of red-green color blindness?

Red-green colorblindness seems to make it harder for a hunter-gatherer to see whether a fruit is ripe and thus worth picking. Is there a reason why selection hasn't completely removed red-green ...
31
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5answers
2k 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 ...
25
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5answers
17k 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 ...
25
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1answer
10k 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 ...
23
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2answers
5k views

Is it possible that by mutation a human could see infrared or other 'colours'?

Incoming light reacts with the several types of cone cells in the eye. In humans, there are three types of cones sensitive to three different spectra, resulting in trichromatic color vision. Each ...
22
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7answers
6k views

Why can't we see in low light if staring long enough?

For me it seems reasonable that if I kept my gaze on a fixed point in a room with low light, a progressively brighter and better picture would appear before my eyes, just like a camera can see in the ...
22
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1answer
5k 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 ...
18
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1answer
881 views

Why can't I read everything in my field of view?

When I look at a piece of text, I can see all the text on the paper, no matter where I look, because my field of view covers it all. However, if I stare at a specific word, I cannot read the text a ...
15
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2answers
729 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 ...
15
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1answer
203 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
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3answers
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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 ...
14
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2answers
298 views

Are some animals, like dogs and cats, color-blind and how do we know that?

I have heard that some animals, including dogs, cats and donkeys, are color-blind. They cannot recognize any color. Is that true? And how can humans verify that animals are color-blind, or not? During ...
14
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1answer
2k views

Why do we go blind for a few seconds after switching off the light?

At night, when I switch off the lights, I always seem to go blind for a while. The room becomes pitch black and I am unable to see anything. After a while, however, my vision slowly recovers and I ...
14
votes
1answer
269 views

Effect of pupil responses on the electroretinogram

The electroretinogram (ERG) is a measure of electrical activity of the retina. It is typically recorded from the cornea with a wire electrode or gold-foil electrode. Generally, the the ERG is ...
13
votes
2answers
242 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 ...
12
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1answer
2k 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?
12
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5answers
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What is the difference between a circular and a cat's-eye (slit) 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 ...
12
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1answer
1k views

What portion of the electromagnetic spectrum do cats see?

I have seen numerous articles and various information about how cats and dogs see into the ultraviolet spectrum with interesting artistic renderings such as this: http://www.livescience.com/40459-...
12
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1answer
157 views

Why do I see different hues of colors between each of my eyes?

Frequently, I see colors with a slightly different hue when looking through my eyes individually. The right eye is more red-tinted ('warmer' hued) and the left is typically more blue-tinted ('cooler' ...
11
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4answers
4k 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?
11
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6answers
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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
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2answers
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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?
11
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1answer
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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 ...
11
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2answers
969 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.
11
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1answer
202 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
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1answer
666 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?
10
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1answer
246 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 ...
10
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1answer
379 views

Is it a limitation of the eyes, or the brain, that we can't see a moving bullet?

Are the photoreceptors in our eyes not fast enough to register the fast moving bullet, or is the brain not powerful enough to make sense of something happening that fast?
10
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1answer
360 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
2answers
166 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
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1answer
350 views

Can people with paralyzed eye muscles see?

As far as I am aware, the saccades of the eye are central to visual perception. If the eye is held still, the human stops seeing, even if light is reaching the retina and the visual pathway is intact. ...
9
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1answer
240 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
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2answers
150 views

How many mega pixels does the eye have?

What is the number of mega pixels available in the human eye? It seems that newer camera models continuously keep increasing their pixel count. However, they never seem to be capable of reproducing ...
8
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1answer
6k 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
781 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
196 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", ...
8
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1answer
825 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 ...
8
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2answers
40k 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
86 views

What processes are responsible for focusing on an image only seen by one of the eyes?

When a person is spying from around a corner with only one eye, it's rather easy to ignore the other eye's image, since it's probably much darker, because one usually spies around a corner standing ...
8
votes
1answer
570 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 ...
8
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1answer
132 views

How well does it actually work to surgically reroute the optical nerve?

Two publications, Roe et al, 1992[1] and Metin & Frost, 1989[2], describe results pertaining to the ability of a region of cortex to process information from a different sensory mode than the one ...
8
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1answer
251 views

Are 2 eyes necessary for 3D vision?

To start off: I'm not a biology student, but a computer science major It has always been my understanding that humans have 2 eyes so that we can have 3D vision: the left eye see more of the left side ...
8
votes
1answer
171 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
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1answer
2k views

Why does a light object appear lighter in your peripheral vision when it's dark?

So, I am not sure I can reproduce it via images, but the steps are: 1) At night, open a window and have a look at the surface of the earth 2) Suppose there's an object that reflects a tiny amount of ...
7
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1answer
2k 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
1answer
230 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 photoreceptors....
7
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1answer
105 views

Perception of white in the absence of rods

If the retina would not have any cones, one would be color blind. If white is the presence of all colors (in the matter of color mixture, not addition), then what would white look like without rods?
7
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2answers
120 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
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2answers
644 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 ...