Neuroscience 11a Structure and Function of the Eye



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Neuroscience 11a - Structure and Function of the Eye

Anil Chopra


  1. Draw the main components of the eye, including its focussing apparatus, and describe their principal function(s)

  2. Describe the production, circulation and drainage of aqueous humour and explain the importance of its contribution to the maintenance of intraocular pressure

  3. Explain how raised intraocular pressure can lead to glaucoma

  4. Draw the main layers, cellular components and synaptic connections of the retina, and describe the significance of the macula and fovea, especially in relation to visual acuity

  5. Explain the basis of phototransduction, and distinguish the different contributions of rods and cones to the visual process.

  6. Explain briefly the most common forms of colour blindness

  7. Describe the basis of physiological optics and of the common defects of refraction

  8. Draw the binocular visual pathways, from retina to lateral geniculate nucleus to primary visual (striate) cortex, with special regard to the partial decussation at the optic chiasm and its consequences for the visual field representation at higher levels of the pathway.

  9. Explain how specific visual field defects can arise from lesions at different sites, including the optic nerve, chiasm and radiation, and at different locations within striate cortex. Give examples of how some of these defects may arise.

  10. Outline briefly the basic processes of visual integration occurring at different levels of the visual pathway, and how these relate to interpretation of the retinal image.

  11. Explain briefly the concept of functional specialization and the clinical effects of focal extrastriate lesions, especially in relation to the visual perception of colour and motion.

  12. Describe the afferent and efferent pathways underlying the pupillary light reflexes (direct and consensual) and the near reflex.

  13. Outline briefly the circadian visual system and indicate its significance

  14. Explain briefly the simple assessment of visual field

  15. List the most common uses of the ophthalmoscope

  16. Outline the simple tests for visual acuity and colour blindness

  17. Outline the tests for papillary responses

  18. Understand the optics of the human eye

  19. Know what errors of refraction are common in humans

  20. Understand why spectacles do not correct all types of vision loss

  21. Understand the optics underlying spectacle correction of vision

  22. Know which eye problems are the commonest causes of vision loss

  23. Know specifically which parts of the eye are affected by these conditions

  24. Learn how to predict the specific nature of vision loss in individual conditions through knowledge of eye anatomy and physiology


Purposes of Vision


  • Scene selection (head and eye movement)

  • Light intensity (retina and pupil)

  • Colour (cones)

  • Night vision (rods)

  • Process images (post receptoral pathway)




The eye


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