week 4

This week we had a lot to read about for the quiz. We started Part 2 of the book with topics of chemical senses, eye, and vision. Some of the questions were difficult and for example remembering the specific olfactory sensory pathway from such a wide area of topics was just guessing at best. It was interesting to get familiar with some of the basic sensory information processing though.

We learned that our eyes have different purposes for different kinds of vision. The center of vision is the most accurate and is capable of perceiving 3D shapes and depth thanks to binocular vision. The peripheral vision is less color sensitive and is used mostly for movement detection. The human eye and visual processing seem to be quite unique. The way how we determine where to focus our attention even though we see the full picture, was also interesting. Our brain has the ability to focus on the things that it finds important for example if danger is nearby. The layered structure of the striate cortex was a new concept and it reveals architecture for brains parallel computing. This had me wondering  how this brain area is used in blind people as study I read recently showed that when people used echolocation, their V1 is active. Echolocation requires combining sensory input from two different sources so the binocular receptive fields are probably useful in that.

Posted by Samuel

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