Physiology of Vision
Anatomy of the eye:
Even though the eye is small, only about 1 inch in diameter, it serves a very important function -- the sense of sight. Vision is by far the most used of the five senses and is one of the primary means that we use to gather information from our surroundings. More than 75% of the information we receive about the world around us consists of visual information. The eye is often compared to a camera. Each gathers light and then transforms that light into a "picture." Both also have lenses to focus the incoming light. Just as a camera focuses light onto the film to create a picture, the eye focuses light onto a specialized layer of cells, called the retina, to produce an image. The eye is essentially an opaque eyeball filled with a water-like fluid. In the front of the eyeball is a transparent opening known as the cornea. The cornea has the dual purpose of protecting the eye and refracting light as it enters the eye. After light passes through the cornea, a portion of it passes through an opening known as the pupil. Rather than being an actual part of the eye's anatomy, the pupil is merely an opening. The pupil is the black portion in the middle of the eyeball. Its black appearance is attributed to the fact that the light that the pupil allows to enter the eye is absorbed on the retina (and elsewhere) and does not exit the eye. Thus, as you sight at another person's pupil opening, no light is exiting their pupil and coming to your eye; subsequently, the pupil appears black. Like the aperture of a camera, the size of the pupil opening can be adjusted by the dilation of the iris. The iris is the colored part of the eye - being blue for some people and brown for others (and so forth); it is a diaphragm that is capable of stretching and reducing the size of the opening. In bright-light situations, the iris adjusts its size to reduce the pupil opening and limit the amount of light that enters the eye. And in dim-light...
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