The Visual Process

The Visual Process

The Eye

1st Edition - January 1, 1962

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  • Editor: Hugh Davson
  • eBook ISBN: 9781483259871

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The Eye: Volume 2, The Visual Process is a compendium of papers that describes the physiology of the eye, particularly the visual functions, the photobiology of the visual process, and the visual pathway. One paper describes the light stimuli used in physiological experiments concerning vision in terms of their spectral energy distribution, particularly the amounts of light absorbed by the photosensitive substances contained in the retinal receptors. Another paper explains the mosaic-like arrangement of the receptors and the variations of this mosaic in the different regions of the retina, including the Purkinje phenomenon which can cause errors in visual measurements. One paper examines the directional properties of the rods at long wavelengths and the theory of the Stiles-Crawford effect. Other papers investigate the limits of the visible spectrum, the scotopic luminous efficiency, theories of dark-adaptation, as well as the minimum retinal illumination, the minimum flux of energy, and the minimum amount necessary for vision. One paper notes that whereas one rod can be stimulated by one quantum (a discrete process involving one pigment molecule), it is not sufficient to make a human subject see a light stimulus. The compendium is invaluable for researchers and investigators involved in physiology, psychology, ophthalmology, and in all branches of ocular physiology.

Table of Contents

  • List of Contributors



    Contents of Volume 1

    Contents of Volume 3

    Contents of Volume 4

    Part I: Visual Functions in Man

    1. Measurement of the Stimulus

    I. Electromagnetic Radiation

    II. Light Stimuli

    III. Absolute Spectral Energy Distribution

    IV. Stimulus at the Retinal Level

    V. Photometric Units

    VI. Quantum Theory and Wave Theory of Light


    2· Rods and Cones

    I. Anatomical

    II. Experiments Illustrating Rod and Cone Function

    III. Duplicity Theory

    IV. The Purkinje Phenomenon

    V. Colourlessness of Rod Vision and Visual Efficiency


    3. Directional Sensitivity of the Rods and Cones

    I. Introduction

    II. Experiment Illustrating the Stiles-Crawford Effect

    III. Foveal Photometric Matching in White Light

    IV. Foveal Matching with Monochromatic Lights

    V. Liminal Brightness Increments in White Light

    VI. Threshold Measurements with Monochromatic Light in the Dark-Adapted Retina

    VII. Liminal Brightness Increment Using Monochromatic Lights. Light-Adapted Retina

    VIII. Directional Properties of the Rods at Long Wavelengths

    IX. Theory of the Stiles-Crawford Effect


    4. Spectral Luminous Efficiency of Radiation

    I. Limits of the Visible Spectrum

    II. Physiological Conditions

    III. Scotopic Luminous Efficiency

    IV. Isolation of the Rod Mechanism at Long Wavelengths

    V. Rod Sensitivity and Human Rhodopsin

    VI. Spectral Sensitivity Curves in the Deep Red

    VII. Photopic Spectral Efficiency Curves

    VIII. Mesopic Range

    IX. Light-Adapted Periphery


    5. Dark-Adaptation and Night Vision

    I. Introduction

    II. Periphery

    III. Fovea

    IV. Rod Monochromat

    V. Night-Blindness

    VI. Theories of Dark-Adaptation

    VII. Night Vision


    6. Absolute Thresholds and Quantum Effects

    I. Statistical Definition of the Threshold Values

    II. Individual Variations

    III. Main Types of Threshold Measurements

    IV. Minimum Retinal Illumination Necessary for Vision

    V. Minimum Flux of Energy Necessary for Vision

    VI. Minimum Amount of Energy Required for Vision

    VII. A Retinal Rod can be Stimulated by One Quantum

    VIII. One Quantum is not Sufficient for Seeing

    IX. Foveal Absolute Threshold


    7. Quantum Fluctuations at the Absolute Threshold

    I. Fluctuations of the Stimulus

    II. The Poisson Equation

    III. Limit Set by Quantum Fluctuations

    IV. Influence of Wavelength

    V. Probability Summation

    VI. "Two-Quanta" Theories

    VII. "Dark Noise" Theory of Absolute Threshold

    VIII. Cone Vision


    8. Liminal Brightness Increments

    I. Intensity Discrimination

    II. Increment Thresholds

    III. Isolated Mechanisms

    IV. Theory


    9. Visual Acuity

    I. Limits of Resolution

    II. Variation of Acuity with Luminance and Retinal Position

    III. Theory

    IV. Rod Monochromat


    10. Light-Adaptation

    I. The Troxler Phenomenon

    II. The Effect of Light-Adaptation on Subjective Brightness

    III. Time Effects

    IV. Experiments on Glare


    11. Flicker and After-Images

    I. Critical Fusion Frequency. Talbot-Plateau Law

    II. Effect of Retinal Position, Wavelength, and Illumination

    III. Theory

    IV. Binocular Flicker

    V. Rod Monochromat

    VI. After-Images


    12. Colour Vision: Introduction

    I. Coloured Lights and White Light

    II. Colours of Natural Objects


    13. Colour Vision: Colour-Matches

    I. Introduction

    II. The Trivariance of Normal Colour Vision

    III. Colour-Matching Data


    14. Colour Vision: The Two-Colour Threshold Technique of Stiles

    I. Isolation of Mechanisms

    II. Experimental Results

    III. The Mechanisms of Cone Vision

    IV. Relationship with Other Phenomena of Colour Vision


    15. Colour Vision: Other Phenomena

    I. Colour Discrimination

    II. Colour Defect

    III. Variations in the Appearance of Coloured Lights


    16. Colour Vision: Theories

    I. Introductory Remarks

    II. The Trichromatic Theory

    III. The Opponent-Colour Theory and Related Zone Theories

    IV. Other Theories of Colour Vision


    Part II: The Photobiology of Visual Processes

    17. Extraction, Measurement and Analysis of Visual Photopigment

    I. Electromagnetic Radiation and Vision

    II. Formation of an Image

    III. The Visual Pigments and Methods for Obtaining Them

    IV. Characterization of the Visual Pigments

    V. Homogeneity Test for Visual Pigment Extracts


    18. The Identity and Distribution of Visual Pigments in the Animal Kingdom

    I. Historical Sketch

    II. Characterization and Nomenclature of the Visual Pigments

    III. The Invertebrates

    IV. The Vertebrates

    V. Factors that Determine the Possession of Retinene1 or Retinene2 Pigments


    19· The Chemical Structure and Photochemistry of the Visual Pigments

    I. Architecture of the Visual Pigments

    II. The Effect of Light on the Visual Pigments


    20· The Properties of Visual Pigments in Photoreceptors

    I. Visual Pigments and the Structure of Photoreceptors

    II. Limitations of Extraction Procedures

    III. Suspensions of Visual Cells

    IV. Observations on Visual Pigments in Living Eyes

    V. Interpretation of Difference Spectra Obtained in Vivo

    VI. Interpretation of Spectral Sensitivity Curves


    Appendix to Part II: Tables of Visual Pigments


    Part III: The Visual Pathway

    21. Introduction


    22. Retina and Optic Nerve

    I. Features of Retinal Organization

    II. Centrifugal Fibres to the Retina

    III. Main Portion of the Optic Tract

    IV. The Basal Optic Root

    V. Non-Specific Visual Afferents

    VI. Conduction Velocity and Fibre Size in the Optic Nerve


    23. Neurophysiology of the Retina

    I. General Presentation of the Field

    II. The Electroretinograms of Rods and Cones. General Description

    III. The Component Analysis of the Electroretinogram

    IV. Intraretinal Recording of Retinograms. Generator Potentials

    V. Impulse Patterns. Excitation and Inhibition. Spontaneous Activity

    VI. Spatial Organization from Functional Aspects

    VII. Eye Movements and On/Off-Mechanism

    VIII. Temporal Discrimination. Intermittent Stimulation

    IX. Discrimination of Wavelength

    X. Light- and Dark-Adaptation

    XI. Centrifugal Control

    XII. The Electroretinogram of Man


    24. The Station in the Lateral Geniculate Nucleus

    I. Aims and Methods of Study

    II. General Topography of the Lateral Geniculate Projections

    III. Cells and Connexions of the Lateral Geniculate Body. Microphysiology


    25. The Visual Cortex

    I. Visual Projections. Macro-Recording of Evoked Potentials

    II. Cortical Microphysiology


    Author Index

    Subject Index

Product details

  • No. of pages: 814
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 1962
  • Published: January 1, 1962
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • eBook ISBN: 9781483259871

About the Editor

Hugh Davson

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