Monday, November 22, 2010

The inverted retina

Human retina

One of the mysteries of the human visual system is why the retina has evolved to be mounted backwards, i.e., light has to travel through layers of retinal cells before reaching the detectors. Erez N. Ribak and Amichai M. Labin constructed a 3D optical model of the human retina suggesting the retina has developed its inverted shape to improve the directionality of intercepted light beams, to enhance vision acuity, increase immunity to scatter and clutter, concentrate more light into the cones, and overcome chromatic aberration.

Read the news item in the SPIE Newsroom at this link: Light propagation explains our inverted retina.