The eye and vision: an overview

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The eye is the major organ of vision and highly specialized for photoreception. It focusses light from an object onto the light-sensitive retina. Changes in specialized neurons in the retina result in nerve action potentials which are relayed to the brain via the optic nerve. Visual processing by the brain results in ‘visual perception’, the construction of a sensory image which is consciously appreciated as vision. All other structures of the eye are subsidiary to this function, either by facilitating focusing of light rays or by supporting the tissues of the eye. This chapter is an introduction to the various parts of the eye including the eyelids and associated structures, conjunctiva, cornea, sclera, iris, lens, vitreous body, retina, optic disc and nerve, and orbit. This chapter describes the functions of these various structures and their importance in achieving a visual image.


Publication date31 Dec 2014
Publication titleHandbook of nutrition, diet, and the eye
EditorsVictor Preedy
PublisherAcademic Press
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)978-0-12-404606-1
ISBN (Print)978-0-12-401717-7
Original languageEnglish


  • Eye development, Ocular adnexia, Extraocular muscles, Anterior eye, Posterior eye, Visual pathway, Retina

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