How math could explain the ‘great mystery of human vision’

sightsavers eyes close up
Image: Sightsavers

This is the great mystery of human vision: Vivid pictures of the world appear before our mind’s eye, yet the brain’s visual system receives very little information from the world itself. Much of what we “see” we conjure in our heads.

Unfortunately, studying anatomy alone doesn’t reveal how the brain makes these images up any more than staring at a car engine would allow you to decipher the laws of thermodynamics.

New research suggests mathematics is the key. For the past few years, [mathematician  Lai-Sang Young] has been engaged in an unlikely collaboration with her NYU colleagues Robert Shapley, a neuroscientist, and Logan Chariker, a mathematician. They’re creating a single mathematical model that unites years of biological experiments and explains how the brain produces elaborate visual reproductions of the world based on scant visual information.

ADVERTISEMENT

Their work is the first of its kind. Previous efforts to model human vision made wishful assumptions about the architecture of the visual cortex. Young, Shapley and Chariker’s work accepts the demanding, unintuitive biology of the visual cortex as is — and tries to explain how the phenomenon of vision is still possible.

Read full, original post: A Mathematical Model Unlocks the Secrets of Vision

Related article:  Accuracy of eyewitness testimony: Is it all in our head?
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
GLP Podcasts
Infographic: Here’s where GM crops are grown around the world today

Infographic: Here’s where GM crops are grown around the world today

Do you know where biotech crops are grown in the world? This updated ISAAA infographics show where biotech crops were ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
glp menu logo outlined

Newsletter Subscription

* indicates required
Email Lists
Send this to a friend