Vision

Neurophilosophy

Category archives for Vision

The Enigma of Op Art

Cataract 3, Bridget Riley, 1967. In the 1960s, the British artist Bridget Riley began to develop a distinctive style characterised by simple and repetitive geometric patterns which create vivid illusions of movement and sometimes colour and often have a disorientating effect usually described by observers as “shimmering” or “flickering”. With her explorations of the dynamic…

The eye tells the brain when to plasticize

The classic Nobel Prize-winning studies of David Hubel and Torsten Weisel showed how the proper maturation of the developing visual cortex is critically dependent upon visual information received from the eyes. In what would today be considered highly unethical experiments, Hubel and Weisel sewed shut one eye of newborn kittens. They found that this monocular…

New research shows that a protein found in green algae can partially restore visual function when delivered into the retina of blind mice, taking us one step further towards genetic therapy for various conditions in which the degeneration of retinal cells leads to imapired vision or complete blindness.

John Pezaris emailed me yesterday to say: Last spring, you were kind enough to write an article for your Neurophilosophy blog covering my research into restoring sight to the blind, following the publication of our scientific paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. Your article was one of the best ones written:…

Interpreting hybrid images

How the brain interprets complex visual scenes is an enduring mystery for researchers. This process occurs extremely rapidly – the “meaning” of a scene is interpreted within 1/20th of a second, and, even though the information processed by the brain may be incomplete, the interpretation is usually correct. Occasionally, however, visual stimuli are open to…