‘Rat vision’ puts human in top status
30 December 2015
After a study at the University of Sydney, Save Sight Institute has discovered that humans may have the best possible visual world due to the full stereo vision combining with lower visual pathways to create a stronger field of vision.
A magazine titled Current Biology has published their findings that shows that visual communication with the outside world is not simply just processing – it also allows for stereoscopic vision that feeds for attention and emotion.
This revelation means that – without a doubt – humans and primates may have the best responsive vision in the natural world.
While fish, frogs and other vertebrates all struggle with long term 3D images, primates and humans can use this to full effect in their day to day lives.
This means that humans, and hypothetically primates as well, can use this for fine motor skills, as well as reflex tests like tennis and other reaction sports that require an understanding of your entire surroundings, whether it be due to the dimensions of the courts, or looking for teammates in group games.
Our status as ‘top dogs’ in relation to sight may change even more after these discoveries at the Sydney University however, with a vision response similar to that in rodents – which is that only one eye needs to identify movement and danger to fire off a warning to the receptive nerves – means that humans clearly have the upper hand in the genetics department.
“At first we thought we’d made a mistake, but we repeated the experiment and we were right – the cells respond to inputs from either eye,” Natalie Zeater, Save Sight Institute leading author, stated.
“There is no doubt that processing of complex visual information in the cerebral cortex is what enables uniquely human behaviours, but these two eye cells suggest that other types of visual information are just as important – they allow the human species to survive to engage in the complex behaviours.”
It’s almost back to the basics in the study of eye research, but one thing is for sure – we can be thankful for the basics that we have out our disposal. Without them, we may not be able to read this article, and may not have gotten far enough to evolve to the point where we can research the eye at all.
To support the Save Sight Institute, and the research that they are doing, visit http://www.savesightinstitute.org.au/