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Chapter Outline

  1. Starting Out: Vision Is More than the Eyes

  2. Visual Perception

    1. What Is It Like to See?

      • -Mach bands

        -How humans observe the world

    2. Signal Transduction

      • -Signal transduction and what humans use in this process

        -Visible light

        -Brain amount dedicated to vision

  3. Anatomy of the Visual System

    1. Sensory Transduction: The Eye and Its Retina

      • -The various parts of the eye

        -The parts of the eye and how they are located in relation to each other

        -The function of each part of the eye

    2. Path to the Visual Cortex: The Lateral Geniculate Nucleus

      • -Retinal ganglion cells and the LGN

    3. The Visual Cortex

      • -The primary visual cortex

        -The neurons in the primary visual cortex and their functions

        -Discovering how the neurons in the primary visual cortex work

        -Blobs and the information they process

    4. Two Eyes Are Better than One: Stereo Vision

      • -Disparity

  4. Case Study: The Bionic Retina

  5. Neuroscience of Everyday Life: Random Dot Stereograms

  6. Secondary and Tertiary Visual Cortex: Processing Becomes More Complex

    • -How the primary and secondary visual cortexes are similar

      -The Kanizsa figure and what it tells us about our secondary visual cortex

      -The ventral stream and the dorsal stream

    1. Ventral Stream: What an Object Is

      • -How the size of a neuron is related to stimuli processing

        -Position and size invariance

        -Sparse coding

        -All-or-none response

        -Changes in processing when we are more familiar with stimuli

    2. Dorsal Stream: How to Interact with the World

      • -Seeing motion

        -Sigmund Exner and the use of sparks

        -Motion blindness

    3. Attention and the Dorsal Stream

      • -Attending to a stimulus


        -Directing attention

        -Balint’s syndrome


    4. Comparing the Ventral and Dorsal Processing Streams

      • -Prosopagnosia

        -The ventral and dorsal streams

        -Difficulties that occur from lesions in the dorsal stream

        -Difficulties that occur from lesions in the ventral stream

    5. The Bigger Picture of the Visual Brain

      • -Damage to the primary, secondary, and tertiary visual cortices

        -Visual information’s path through the brain

  7. The Bigger Picture: Reading the Movies in Our Minds

  8. Case Study: The World in Snapshots

  9. Case Study: The Blind Woman Who Could See, Sort of

  10. Perception Is Active, Not Passive

    1. Interrogating the Scene with Our Eyes

      • -Eye movements: random or purposeful?

    2. The Blind Spot

      • -Causes of the blind spot

    3. Seeing the Same Object Different Ways: Multistability

      • -Multistable percept

    4. Binocular Rivalry: Different Images in the Two Eyes

      • -Definition of binocular rivalry

        -What binocular rivalry tells us about the visual system

    5. We Don’t See Most of What Hits Our Eyes

      • -Attending to the environment

  11. Vision Relies on Expectations

    1. Change Blindness

      • -Definition of change blindness and some examples of change blindness in the real world

    2. Saving Resources by Embedding Prior Experience

      • -The “shortcut” the brain takes concerning the direction of lighting

    3. Unconscious Inference

      • -Definition of unconscious inference

        -Processing information in the visual field

        -The influence of prior experience on what we think we see

    4. Activity from Within

      • -The deprivation of external stimuli

        -Charles Bonnet syndrome

    5. Feedback Allows an Internal Model

      • -The feedback relationship between the primary visual cortex and the LGN

        -The advantages of having a visual system that involves feedback

        -Anton’s syndrome

        -The difference between sensation and perception

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