Download Eye, Brain, and Vision by David H. Hubel PDF

By David H. Hubel

This paintings examines the mechanisms in which we understand color, intensity and circulate, and the functionality of the fibres connecting the 2 halves of the mind. the writer describes how the visible circuits increase ahead of delivery and discusses the unforeseen effects of visible deprivation early in lifestyles. He describes present wisdom about the better visible parts of the mind referred to as 18, V4 and MT. The initiatives scientists face in interpreting the rest mysteries of imaginative and prescient and the workings of the human mind also are explored.

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Extra resources for Eye, Brain, and Vision

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We call this form of response an on response. When Kuffler moved the spot of light a small distance away from the center of the receptive field, he discovered that the light suppressed the spontaneous firing of the cell, and that when he turned off the light the cell gave a brisk burst of impulses, lasting about i second. We call this entire sequence—suppression during light and discharge following light—an off response. Exploration of the receptive field soon showed that it was cleanly subdivided into a circular on region surrounded by a much larger ring-shaped off region.

You can imagine what a surprise it must have been to observe that shining a flashlight directly into the eye of an animal evoked such feeble responses or no response at all. 8 Illuminating all the receptors, as a flashlight surely does, might have been expected to be the most effective stimulus, not the least. The mistake is to forget how important inhibitory synapses are in the nervous system. With nothing more than a wiring diagram such as the one on page 12 in Chapter 2, we cannot begin to predict the effects of a given stimulus on any given cell if we do not know which synapses are excitatory and which are inhibitory.

We do not fully understand why the retina develops in this curious backward fashion. One possible reason is the location behind the receptors of a row of cells containing a black pigment, melanin (also found in skin). Melanin mops up the light that has passed through the retina, keeping it from being reflected back and scattering around inside the eye; it has the same function as the black paint inside a camera. The melanin-containing cells also help chemically restore the lightsensitive visual pigment in the receptors after it has been bleached by light (see Chapter 8).

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