The Visual Process - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9781483230894, 9781483259871

The Visual Process

1st Edition

The Eye

Editors: Hugh Davson
eBook ISBN: 9781483259871
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 1st January 1962
Page Count: 814
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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


No. of pages:
© Academic Press 1962
Academic Press
eBook ISBN:

About the Editor

Hugh Davson