The First Steps in Seeing

Robert W. Rodieck
Robert W. Rodieck

The First Steps in Seeing

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Description

The First Steps in Seeing is about the eyes, and how they capture an image and convert it to the neural messages that ultimately result in visual experience.

A full appreciation of how the eyes work is rooted in diverse areas of science—optics; biochemistry and photochemistry; molecular biology, cell biology, neurobiology, and evolutionary biology; psychology and psychophysics.

The findings related to vision...

The First Steps in Seeing is about the eyes, and how they capture an image and convert it to the neural messages that ultimately result in visual experience.

A full appreciation of how the eyes work is rooted in diverse areas of science—optics; biochemistry and photochemistry; molecular biology, cell biology, neurobiology, and evolutionary biology; psychology and psychophysics.

The findings related to vision from any one of these fields are not difficult to understand in themselves, but, in order to be clear and precise, each discipline has developed its own set of words and conceptual relations—in effect, its own language—and for those wanting a broad introduction to vision these separate languages can present more of an impediment to understanding than an aid. However, what lies beneath these words usually has a beautiful simplicity, and it is the aim of The First Steps in Seeing to describe how we see in a manner that is understandable to all.

In this book, the use of technical terms is restricted, and several hundred full-color illustrations ensure that the terms that are used are associated with a picture, icon, or graph that visually expresses their meaning. Experimental findings have been recast in terms of the natural world whenever possible, and broad themes bring together lines of thought that are often treated separately.

Fourteen main chapters form a "thread" that tells the main scientific story and can be read without specialized knowedge or reliance on other sources. This thread is linked to fourteen discussions which explore certain crucial topics in greater depth. Notes link the material presented in the thread and in the special topics discussions to important review articles and seminal research papers.

The First Steps in Seeing is an innovative, authoritative work that belongs in the library of anyone with an interest in visual perception.

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Robert W. Rodieck, at the time of his death in 2003, was Bishop Professor Emeritus of Ophthalmology at the University of Washington.

"[The First Steps in Seeing] synthesizes our understanding of the eye and retina in a way that is at once enjoyable to read, clearly presented and gorgeously illustrated. Complex subjects, ranging from biochemical pathways to the mathematical underpinnings of the relevant optics, chemistry and photometry, are elegantly explained. . . . The author has indeed given us all some new ways to think about the 'first steps in seeing.'"
—Helga Kolb, Nature Neuroscience

"[Rodieck's] enthusiasm for the retina is clear from the beautiful illustrations. Nevertheless he tackles all the physical and chemical problems involved in the early stages of vision with clarity and verve. The result is a fine exposition of all one needs to know about the way the retina deals with light, a lucid and unique work of reference for students at all levels."
—Michael F. Land, The Times Higher Education Supplement

"With little doubt, The First Steps in Seeing is a beautiful multidisciplinary tour through our current understanding of the visual system. The combination of an easy-to-read narrative and supplementary scientific detail makes this book an excellent resource for both medical students and professionals in the visual sciences and clinical ophthalmic care."
—Robert W. Nickells, Archives of Ophthalmology