Professor Markus Meister gives a fascinating talk on the neurobiology of vision as part of a TEDx conference at Caltech. He references two visual illusions both of which involve colour perception. Two very interesting explanations are offered based on sensory processing in the retina and possible cells responsible for these effects are identified.
Contrasting Visual Hallucinations and Visual Illusions
Visual hallucinations are complex phenomenon that occur in many types of illness. Visual hallucinations are distinct from visual illusions. Visual illusions occur in the presence of a visual stimulus whilst visual hallucinations occur without this stimulus. A better understanding of visual illusions will be helpful in better understanding visual hallucinations.
The Promise of Neuroscience
The neuroscience of vision
s is well developed. Visual pathways in many species including humans have been very well characterised. Professor Meister’s talk hints at the sophisticated understanding of the circuitry particularly in the retina. If common themes are identified at the stage of retinal processing it may simplify the task of linking phenomenological experience and psychopathology to neurobiology.
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