Sight and Vision are often compared to a movie camera that records a scene.
Light effects the sensor (rods and cones of the eye) and the information is sent to the microcomputer (brain) for processing and interpretation and storage (remembering).
Research on mice optical nerves and retina’s however shows something quite unique going on.
The eye itself appears to process the data before sending to to the brain.
It seems there are multiple streams of information from the outside world being recorded by specialist cells that are then all sent (12 of them) to the brain for processing and combining into one cohesive image or movie.
Some of these specialist cells see only in vertical and horizontal lines. Some see shadow as a contrast to light and some see light as a contrast to shadow. Some see only an outline of contrasting objects.
Some only see change. Some only see a lack of change.
Often these cells are activated for only a fraction of a second within each second of time even though the image or movie goes in a constant stream without interruption to our experience.
All together they combine to create a world so rich that modern technology can only dream of giving such an experience.
Scientists creating artificial sight sensors for the blind or visually impaired are trying to understand why and how this idea of very specialised neurons in the eye leads to a general image or movie in the mind that is complete and in constant change. The hope is that by understanding this better, technology can be developed for these people.
Sound is processed in a very similar way. Tone, pitch and frequency specific cells identify only what they are ‘tuned’ to. The rest is done by clever monkeys in our brain.
No I’m kidding. No monkeys. Makes you wonder though.., who or what designed that which is human?