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The Mechanics of Sight

The mechanics of sight are complex and research has provided a great deal of information about the visual system. Such information is valuable, not only for understanding how the eyes function in health, but also for studying certain disease processes.

Accommodation
Ability of the eye to adjust its focus for near and distant visions.

Cones
Specialized visual (photoreceptor) cells in the retina, responsible for sharpness of vision and color vision (see Rods).

Dark Adaptation
Biochemical and neurological process by which the eye becomes more sensitive to light in the dark.

Distance Vision
Ability to perceive objects distinctly at a distance usually measured at 20 feet.

Near Vision
Ability to perceive objects distinctly at a normal reading distance, about 14 inches from the eyes.

Peripheral Vision
Ability to perceive the presence, motion or color of objects outside the direct line of vision.

Refraction
Bending of light rays when passing from one transparent medium into another of different density. In vision, refraction by the cornea and lens brings images to sharp focus on the retina.

Rhodopsin
Light sensitive pigment of the rods; bleaches in the light and regenerates in the dark. It plays a key role in the transformation of light energy into visual perception.

Rods
Straight, thin cells in the retina containing light-sensitive pigments. They are responsible for night vision (see Cones).

Visual Activity
Part of the cerebral cortex of the brain primarily responsible for interpreting signals from the eye.

Additional Research:

Parts of the Eyes

Eye Disorders

 

 
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