lec 10

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Matthias Niemeier

IntroductionLight is electromagnetic energy that is emitted in the form of wavesThe mastery of vision over the course of verterbrateevolution has had suprising rewards it has provided new ways to communicate give rise to brain mechanism for predicting the trajectory of objects and events in time and space allowed for new forms of mental imagery and abstraction and led to the creation of a world of art The significance of vision is perhaps best demonstrated by the fact that about half of the human cerebral cortex is involvedwith analyzing the visual world Mammalian visual system begins with the eye Retina is found at the back of the eye which contains photoreceptors specialized to convert light into neural actiivty Retina is actually the part of the brainAxons of retinal neurons are bundled into optic nerves which distribute visual information in the form of AP to several brain structure that perform different functionsSome targets of the optic nerves are involved in regulating biological rhtyms which are synchronized with the lightdark dailty cycle others are involved in the control of eye postion and opticsThe first synaptic relay in the pathway that serves visual perception occurs in a cell group of the dorsal thalamus called the LATERAL GENICULATE NUCLEUS visual information ascends to the cerebral cortex where it is interpreted and remembered Properties of Light Radiation emitted at a high frequency short wavelength has the highest energy content eg gamma radiation emitted by some radioactive materials and Xrays used for medical imaging with wavelength less that 109less than 1nm lower frequencies longer wavelength has less energy eg radar and radio waves with wavelengths greater than 1mmOnly a small part of the electromagnetic spectrum is detactable by our visual system Visible light conssits of wavelengths of 400700 nmOptics the study of light rays and their interactions
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