Wednesday, August 8, 2007

The unsolved mystery of vision

Richard H. Masland, Paul R. Martin
Current Biology Vol 17 No 15

Vision looms large in neuroscience — it is the subject of a gigantic literature and four Nobel prizes — but there is a growing realization that there are problems with the textbook explanation of how mammalian vision works. Here we will summarize the evidence behind this disquiet. In effect, we shall present a portrait of a field that is ‘stuck’. Our initial focus, because it is our area of expertise, is on evidence that the early steps of mammalian vision are more diverse and more interesting than is usually imagined, so that our understanding of the later stages is in trouble right from the start. But we will also summarize problems, raised by others, with the later stages themselves.

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