Vision is one of the most studied yet least understood sensory aspects forming the whole of the human experience. We take it for granted, and yet the ability of sight helps us to understand who we are and the world around us. It is elusive and, at the same time, paradoxical; in the sum of our lives, all anyone ever truly sees can be broken down to one thing — photons, particles of light moving at the rhythm of their own wavelengths. Your favourite movie, the face of your spouse or significant other, a blue sky on a summer’s day; all so vividly remembered by their apparent colours and forms, yet these are mere illusions formed by a visual cortex that — like us — is only attempting to make sense of all that is around us. Our eyes, the visions we see — both simultaneously defy logic and all too readily inform a visual base of things we believe to be true.
So, how do these things called eyes actually work? The visual cortex is so complex it’s a wonder it works at all. Why did some see the white and gold dress, while others a black and blue dress? Why are some born with blue eyes and others not? Why do we see colours that do not exist and sometimes “see” things that are not even there?
Grab a pair of reading glasses and strap in tight, as a local optometrist from Victoria takes you through the subtle (and not-so-subtle) peculiarities of how our eyes actually work.
The Cornea: Casting a Wide Net
If you want to catch a whole lot of fish, it’s best to bring a really big net, right? As a majority of species’ eyes evolved, nearly all took on the same approach, and the same holds true with humans. The dome-shaped lenses of our eyes are known as the corneas. The unique shape of the cornea allows it to collect and transmit images and light at wide angles.
The Pupil: It’s Really Nothing
The Iris: Those Beautiful Baby Blues (and Browns, and Greens, and Hazels...)
The Inner Lens: Seeing the Big Picture (by Shrinking it Down)
The Retina: The Eye’s Light Sorter
One Last Thing...