What is known about the processing of our vision and where can I learn about it?

  1. What is known of how our brain processes our vision and where can I learn about it?
  2. jcsd
  3. Andy Resnick

    Andy Resnick 5,785
    Science Advisor

    My favorite book (so far) is Snowden's "Basic Vision". Plus it has the best cover EVER.
  4. Pythagorean

    Pythagorean 4,596
    Gold Member

    Very broad question.

    Some processing happens right in te retina. Then the signal is changed very little as it is sent to V1 in the back of your head (the surface of the occipital lobes). Higher order processing occurs in a parallel fashion as the signal descends into V2, V3, V4, etc and the nuclei there become more specialized to different tasks (whereas V1 is pretty much just a picture of the whole scene translated into neuron speak).
  5. Andy Resnick, thanks!

    Pythagorean, that's what I am talking about. It seems awesome we know that much. Where can I learn about it?
  6. Pythagorean

    Pythagorean 4,596
    Gold Member

    for a road map, use google and wikipedia, but for reference:

    a) any standard neuroanatomy textbook used at universities will do (professors often list them on their websites). And b) you can use google scholar to confirm claims about the functionality of the brain, or c) browse the trusted neuroscience journals (Elsevier has a large variety of neuroscience, nature has a neuroscience section, PloS and PNAS do a lot of interesting work). Of course, remember that even journals (especially medical journals) can sometimes be selective and misrepresent data. Text books often have more foundational knowledge (but when it comes to the brain, that doesn't always mean its right).

    You'll find knowing the general anatomy helps understand the processing stream a little bit better, but this is a hugely vast and deep subject, so I suggest you start exploring and start making new threads with more specific questions as you explore.

    Journals often carry a type of paper called a "review" that can give better summaries of the current state of understanding, but sometimes they can be biased towards particular hypotheses. So if you decide to explore journal publications, try checking out the reviews. Or if you use google scholar, you can use review as a search term for the journal.

    A review on vision processing might be a good place to start, but it will probably have you looking up a lot of terms if you have no formal biology education (which is fine, it just takes time to digest a lot of new nomenclature, so be patient if that's the case).
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2012
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