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How does eyes encodes information to be sent to brain?

  1. Apr 23, 2010 #1
    Is there anyone who knows on how's the information being transferred from eyes to brain? I'm not asking about how a single optical nerve works here, but how does these nerves arranged so that they can convey a 'live video' from eyes to brain. Is it a matrix of optic nerves with a single nerve assigned for a particular x,y coordinate? or how?

    Anyone could give me a clue about this?

    *sorry if my english is bad or not being clear enough
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 23, 2010 #2

    Andy Resnick

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    This is a fantastically complex topic. I can't say too much other than:

    1) the eye is not a ccd: it is not one nerve/rod (or cone).
    2) the retina is part of the brain and performs optical processing 'on-site' (edge enhancement, movement detection and local averaging, for example).

    My neuroscience book (Kandel et. al) has some information, but I don't have a proper text on vision.
  4. Apr 30, 2010 #3
    Our eye is designed so that the lens of your eye projects a real image onto your retina. Check this picture for help: http://webvision.umh.es/webvision/imageswv/Sagschem.jpeg

    Imagine that your retina is divided into squares about 1 micron in length. Imagine that it's composed of 90 million squares. A rod is located in each square and detects light that hits that square. When light is detected, a signal is sent from your photoreceptor cells which is processed by horizontal, bipolar, and amacrine cells and sent to retinal ganglion cells in your optic nerve. Information from your eye is used to detect and recognize shapes, edges, lines, and patterns. The most caudal region of our brain is dedicated to making sense of the visual information encoded by our eyes and optic nerve.

    To oversimplify it, your retina is made up of 90 million pixels that transmit a signal when the pixel detects light.
  5. May 2, 2010 #4
    This is my area of specialty. Sadly, the short answer is: no one knows ;)

    For the long answer on how the brain processes visual information... search for review articles on "visual object recognition"

    For retina specific work, look up papers on retinal coding
  6. May 2, 2010 #5


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    Vision is really an incredible concept. It's amazing how the brain combines the images of both the eyes into one complete view and how it makes sure that everything is the right-side up (among other things).
  7. May 3, 2010 #6

    Andy Resnick

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    I've seen a picture of what the image on the retina 'really' looks like- it is horrendously aberrated, as I recall. I can't seem to find a similar picture online- anyone seen something similar?
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