Abstract

Advances in understanding the initial stages of the visual process have been made over the centuries. This heritage will be reviewed with respect to the passage of light through the eye, as well as its gross anatomy and microscopic structure. The links between image formation in the camera and the eye were integrated with the anatomy of the eye in the seventeenth century. They drew attention to the problem of accommodation and to corrections for errors of refraction. Investigations of the structure of the retina were to await the invention of achromatic microscopes in the early nineteenth century. An armory of devices for examining vision and the eye were to follow later in the century. These transformed the study of vision from an observational to an experimental discipline.

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  189. W. von Waldeyer, 'Über einige neuere Forschungen im Gebiete der Anatomie des Centralnervensystems,' Dtsch. Med. Wochenschr. 17, 1213-1218, 1244-1246, 1267-1269, 1287-1289, 1331-1332, 1352-1356 (1891).
  190. C. Wheatstone, 'On the binocular microscope, and on stereoscopic pictures of microscopic objects,' Trans. Microsc. Soc. London B 1853, 99-102.
  191. F. H. Wenham, 'On the application of binocular vision to the microscope,' Trans. Microsc. Soc. London 2, 1-13 (1854).
  192. N. J. Wade, 'A note on the history of binocular microscopes,' Perception 10, 591-592 (1981).
  193. N. J. Wade, 'On the late invention of the stereoscope,' Perception 16, 785-818 (1987).
  194. E. H. Schmitz, Handbuch zur Geschichte der Optik. Das Mikroscop (Wayenborgh, 1990), Suppl. Vol. 2, pt. B.
  195. G. R. Treviranus, Beiträge zur Aufklärung der Erscheinungen und Gesetze des organischen Lebens. Volume 1, Issue 1. Ueber die blättige Textur der Crystalllinse des Auges als Grund des Vermögens, einerlei Gegenstand in verschiedener Entfernung deutlich zu sehen, und über den innern Bau der Retina (Heyse, 1835).
  196. G. R. Treviranus, Beiträge zur Aufklärung der Erscheinungen und Gesetze des organischen Lebens. Volume 1, Issue 3. Resultate neuer Untersuchungen über die Theorie des Sehens und über den innern Bau der Netzhaut des Auges (Heyse, 1837).
  197. G. R. Treviranus, Beiträge zur Anatomie und Physiologie der Sinneswerkzeuge des Menschen und der Thiere (Heyse, 1828).
  198. S. Finger, Origins of Neuroscience. A History of Explorations into Brain Function (Oxford U. Press,1994).
  199. J. Müller, Handbuch der Physiologie des Menschen für Vorlesungen (Hölscher, 1840), Vol. 2.
  200. J. Müller, Elements of Physiology, W.Baly, trans. (Taylor and Walton, 1843), Vol. 2.
  201. J. Müller, Müller's Elements of Physiology, 4 vols., N.J.Wade, ed. (Thoemmes, 2003).
  202. F. Bidder, 'Zur Anatomie der Retina, insbesondere zur Würdigung der stabförmigen Körper in derselben,' Müllers Arch. Anat. Physiol. Wiss. Med. 1839, 371-385.
  203. J. Schickore, ''Worauf die Strahlen der sichtbaren Gegenstände wirken': Mikroskopische Anatomic der Retina 1834-1841,' Med. Hist. J. 34, 139-157 (1999).
  204. W. Bowman, Lectures on the Parts Concerned in the Operations on the Eye and on the Structure of the Retina, Delivered at the Royal London Ophthalmic Hospital, Moorfields, June 1847 (Longmans, 1849).
  205. A. Hannover, 'Ueber die Netzhaut und ihre Gehirnsubstanz bei Wirbelthieren, mit Ausnahme des Menschen,' Müllers Arch. Anat. Physiol. Wiss. Med. 1840, 549-558.
  206. A. Hannover, Recherches Microscopiques sur la Systems Nerveux (Philipsen, 1844).
  207. A. Kölliker, Mikroscopische Anatomie oder Gewerbelehre des Menschen (Engelmann, 1854), Vol. 2.
  208. M. Schultze, Zur Anatomie und Physiologie der Retina (Cohen, 1866).
  209. C. Golgi, 'Sulla struttura della sostanza grigia del cervello,' Gazz. Med. Ital. (Lomb.) 6, 244-246 (1873).
  210. C. Golgi, Opera Omnia, 3 vols. (Hoepli, 1903).
  211. P. Mazzarello, The Hidden Structure. A Scientific Biography of Camilla Golgi, H.A.Buchtel and A.Badiani, trans. (Oxford University Press, 1999).
  212. F. Tartuferi, 'Sulla anatomia della retina,' Arch. Sci. Med. (Torino) 11, 335-358 (1887).
  213. M. Piccolino, 'Cajal and the retina: a 100-year retrospective,' Trends Neurosci. 11, 521-525 (1988).
  214. M. Piccolino, E. Strettoi, and E. Laurenzi, 'Santiago Ramon y Cajal, the retina and the neuron theory,' Doc. Ophthalmol. 71, 123-141 (1989).
  215. N. J. Wade and M. Piccolino, 'Nobel stains,' Perception 35, 1-8 (2006).
  216. S. Ramón y Cajal, 'Recollections of my life,' E. H. Craigie, Trans. Mem. Am. Philos. Soc. 8, 1-638 (1937).
  217. S. Ramón y Cajal, 'Recreaciones estereocópicas y binoculares,' La Fotografia (Madrid) 27, 41-48 (1901).
  218. A. Bergua and W. Skrandies, 'An early antecedent to modern random dot stereograms--'The secret stereoscopic writing' of Ramón y Cajal,' Int. J. Psychophysiol. 36, 69-72 (2000).
  219. B. Julesz, Foundations of Cyclopean Perception (University of Chicago, 1971).
  220. S. Ramón y Cajal, 'La rétine des vertébrés' La Cellule 9, 119-257 (1893).
  221. S. Ramón y Cajal, The Structure of the Retina, S.A.Thorpe and M.Glickstein, trans. (Charles C. Thomas, 1972).
  222. E. Mach, 'Über die Wirkung der räumlichen Vertheilung des Lichtreizes auf die Netzhaut,' Sitzungsber. Math.-Naturwiss. Kl. Kaiserl. Akad. Wiss. 52, 330-322 (1865).
  223. F. Ratliff, Mach Bands: Quantitative Studies on Neural Networks in the Retina (Holden-Day, 1965).
  224. H. K. Hartline, 'A quantitative and descriptive study of the electric response to illumination of the arthropod eye,' Am. J. Physiol. 83, 466-483 (1928).
  225. H. B. Barlow, 'Summation and inhibition in the frog's retina,' J. Physiol. (London) 119, 69-88 (1953).
  226. S. W. Kuffler, 'Discharge patterns and functional organization of mammalian retina,' J. Neurophysiol. 16, 37-68 (1953).
  227. P. Freher, Theatrum Virorum Eruditione Clarorum (Hofmann, 1688).
  228. C. Perrault, Les Hommes Illustres qui ont paru en France pendent ce Siecle: avec leurs Portraits naturel (Dezallier, 1696), Vol. 1.
  229. J. Psotnícková, Jan Evangelista Purkynĕ (Orbis, 1955).
  230. H. Helmholtz, Handbuch der Physiologisehen Optik, 2nd ed. (Voss, 1896).
  231. H. Gurney, Memoir of the Life of Thomas Young, M.D.F.R.S. (John & Arthur Arch, 1831).
  232. F. H. Verhoeff, 'Two new astigmatic charts,' Ophthal. Rec. 8, 541-544 (1899).

2006

N. J. Wade and M. Piccolino, 'Nobel stains,' Perception 35, 1-8 (2006).

J. S. Wolffsohn and R. C. Peterson, 'Anterior ophthalmic imaging,' Clin. Exp. Optom. 89, 205-214 (2006).

2005

N. J. Wade, 'Accentuating the negative: Tom Wedgwood (1771-1805), perception and photography,' Perception 34, 513-520 (2005).

N. J. Wade, 'Vision and the dimensions of nerve fibers,' J. Hist. Neurosci. 14, 281-294 (2005).

2004

N. J. Wade, 'Visual neuroscience before the neuron,' Perception 33, 869-889 (2004).

A. M. Smith, 'What is the history of medieval optics really about?' Proc. Am. Philos. Soc. 148, 180-194 (2004).

C. R. Keeler, 'Babbage the unfortunate,' Br. J. Ophthamol. 88, 730-732 (2004).

2002

P. J. Koehler, 'The historical roots of the visual examination,' Semin Neurol. 22, 357-366 (2002).

N. J. Wade, 'Charles Wheatstone (1802-1875),' Perception 31, 265-272 (2002).

N. J. Wade, J. Brozek, and J. Hoskovec, 'Images of Purkinje's vision,' Hist. Philos. Psychol. 4, 1-9 (2002).

B. Lingelbach and O. Schmidt, 'Asphärische Linsen aus dem 11. Jahrhundert,' Z. Prakt. Augenheilkd. 23, 397-406 (2002).

2001

V. llardi, 'The role of Florence in the development and commerce of spectacles,' Atti Fond. Giorgio Ronchi 56, 163-176 (2001).

N. J. Wade and S. Finger, 'The eye as an optical instrument. From camera obscura to Helmholtz's perspective,' Perception 30, 1157-1177 (2001).

J. Schickore, 'Ever present impediments: exploring instruments and methods of microscopy,' Perspect. Sci. 9, 126-146 (2001).

2000

J. Schickore, 'Locating rods and cones: microscopic investigations of the retina in mid-nineteenth-century Berlin and Würzburg,' Sci. Context 13, 137-152 (2000).

M. J. Eadie, 'Robert Whytt and the pupils,' J. Clin. Neurosci. 7, 295-297 (2000).

N. J. Wade, 'Porterfield and Wells on the motions of our eyes,' Perception 29, 21-239 (2000).

A. Bergua and W. Skrandies, 'An early antecedent to modern random dot stereograms--'The secret stereoscopic writing' of Ramón y Cajal,' Int. J. Psychophysiol. 36, 69-72 (2000).

A. Roorda, 'Adaptive optics ophthalmoscopy,' J. Refract. Surg. 16, S602-S607, (2000).

P. E. Runge, 'Eduard Jaeger's test-types (Schrift-Scalen) and the historical development of vision tests,' Trans. Am. Ophthalmol. Soc. 98, 357-438 (2000).

1999

O. Schmidt, K.-H. Wilms, and B. Lingelbach, 'The Visby lenses,' Optom. Vision Sci. 76, 624-630 (1999).

J. Schickore, ''Worauf die Strahlen der sichtbaren Gegenstände wirken': Mikroskopische Anatomic der Retina 1834-1841,' Med. Hist. J. 34, 139-157 (1999).

1998

A. M. Smith, 'Ptolemy, Alhazen, and Kepler and the problem of optical images,' Arabic Sci. Philos. 8, 9-44 (1998).

N. J. Wade, 'Light and sight since antiquity,' Perception 27, 637-670 (1998).

1996

J. M. Enoch, 'Early lens use; lenses found in context with their original objects,' Optom. Vision Sci. 73, 707-715 (1996).

1994

R. Weale, 'On the invention of the ophthalmoscope,' Doc. Ophthalmol. 86, 163-166 (1994).

F. Daxecker, 'Further studies by Christoph Scheiner concerning the optics of the eye,' Doc. Ophthalmol. 86, 153-161 (1994).

1992

F. Daxecker, 'Christoph Scheiner's eye studies,' Doc. Ophthalmol. 81, 27-35 (1992).

1990

I. den Tonkelaar, H. E. Henkes, and G. K. Leersum, 'Antonie Cramer's explanation of accommodation,' Doc. Ophthalmol. 74, 87-93 (1990).

1989

M. Piccolino, E. Strettoi, and E. Laurenzi, 'Santiago Ramon y Cajal, the retina and the neuron theory,' Doc. Ophthalmol. 71, 123-141 (1989).

A. W. Dreher, J. F. Billie, and R. N. Weinreb, 'Active optical depth resolution improvement of the laser tomographic scanner,' Appl. Opt. 28, 804-808 (1989).

1988

M. Piccolino, 'Cajal and the retina: a 100-year retrospective,' Trends Neurosci. 11, 521-525 (1988).

1987

N. J. Wade, 'On the late invention of the stereoscope,' Perception 16, 785-818 (1987).

E. Scheerer, 'Tobias Mayer--experiments on visual acuity (1755),' Spatial Vis. 2, 81-97 (1987).

1981

N. J. Wade, 'A note on the history of binocular microscopes,' Perception 10, 591-592 (1981).

1979

G. A. Russell, 'Ibn al-Haytham--the first biophysicist,' Trends Neurosci. 2, IX-XI (1979).

1975

G. Westheimer, 'Visual acuity and hyperacuity,' Invest. Ophthalmol. 14, 570-572 (1975).

1967

D. C. Lindberg, 'Alhazen's theory of vision and its reception in the West,' Isis 58, 321-341 (1967).

1956

E. Rosen, 'The invention of eyeglasses,' J. Hist. Med. 11, 13-46, 183-218 (1956).

1953

H. W. Babcock, 'The possibility of compensating astronomical seeing,' Publ. Astron. Soc. Pac. 65, 229-236 (1953).
[CrossRef]

H. B. Barlow, 'Summation and inhibition in the frog's retina,' J. Physiol. (London) 119, 69-88 (1953).

S. W. Kuffler, 'Discharge patterns and functional organization of mammalian retina,' J. Neurophysiol. 16, 37-68 (1953).

1952

N. Ferrero, 'Leonardo da Vinci: of the eye,' Am. J. Ophthalmol. 35, 507-521 (1952).

1945

1937

S. Ramón y Cajal, 'Recollections of my life,' E. H. Craigie, Trans. Mem. Am. Philos. Soc. 8, 1-638 (1937).

1936

J. A. Vollgraff, 'Snellius' notes on the reflection and refraction of rays,' Osiris 1, 718-725 (1936).

1928

H. K. Hartline, 'A quantitative and descriptive study of the electric response to illumination of the arthropod eye,' Am. J. Physiol. 83, 466-483 (1928).

1911

A. Gullstrand, 'Die reflexlose Ophthalmoskopie,' Arch. Augenheilkd. 78, 101 (1911).

1907

J. H. Sutcliffe, 'One-position ophthalmometry,' Trans. Ophthalmol. Soc. U. K. 8, 74-102 (1907).

1902

H. Friedenwald, 'The history of the invention and of the development of the ophthalmoscope,' J. Am. Med. Assoc. 38, 549-552 (1902).

1901

S. Ramón y Cajal, 'Recreaciones estereocópicas y binoculares,' La Fotografia (Madrid) 27, 41-48 (1901).

1899

F. H. Verhoeff, 'Two new astigmatic charts,' Ophthal. Rec. 8, 541-544 (1899).

1893

S. Ramón y Cajal, 'La rétine des vertébrés' La Cellule 9, 119-257 (1893).

1891

W. von Waldeyer, 'Über einige neuere Forschungen im Gebiete der Anatomie des Centralnervensystems,' Dtsch. Med. Wochenschr. 17, 1213-1218, 1244-1246, 1267-1269, 1287-1289, 1331-1332, 1352-1356 (1891).

1887

F. Tartuferi, 'Sulla anatomia della retina,' Arch. Sci. Med. (Torino) 11, 335-358 (1887).

1886

W. T. Jackman and J. D. Webster, 'On photographing the retina of the living human eye,' Philadelphia Photographer 23, 340-341 (1886).

1873

C. Golgi, 'Sulla struttura della sostanza grigia del cervello,' Gazz. Med. Ital. (Lomb.) 6, 244-246 (1873).

1865

E. Mach, 'Über die Wirkung der räumlichen Vertheilung des Lichtreizes auf die Netzhaut,' Sitzungsber. Math.-Naturwiss. Kl. Kaiserl. Akad. Wiss. 52, 330-322 (1865).

1857

H. Aubert, 'Über die Grenzen der Farben-Wahrnehmung auf den seitlichen Theilen der Netzhaut,' Arch. Ophthalmol. 3, 38-67 (1857).

1855

H. Müller, 'Über die entoptische Wahrnehmung der Netzhautfässe, insbesonders als Beweismittel für die Lichtperception durch die nach hintern gelegenen Netzhautelemente,' Verh. Phys.-Med. Ges. Würzburg , 5, 411-447 (1855).

H. Helmholtz, 'Ueber die Accommodation des Auges,' Arch. Ophthalmol. 1, 1-74 (1855).

1854

F. H. Wenham, 'On the application of binocular vision to the microscope,' Trans. Microsc. Soc. London 2, 1-13 (1854).

1851

H. Müller, 'Zur Histologie der Netzhaut,' Wiss. Z. Zool. 3, 234-237 (1851).

1844

H. Küchler, 'Ueber den Zweck und die beste Einrichtung von Gesichtsproben,' Heidelb. Med. Ann. 10, 408-418 (1844).

D. Brewster, 'On the optical phenomena, nature, and locality of muscae volitantes; with observations on the structure of the vitreous humour, and on the vision of objects placed within the eye,' Philos. Trans. R. Soc. Edin. 15, 377-385 (1844).

1837

D. Brewster, 'On the development and extinction of regularly double refracting structures in the crystalline lenses of animals after death,' Philos. Trans. R. Soc. London 127, 253-258 (1837).

1834

W. G. Horner, 'On the autoptic spectrum of certain vessels within the eye, as delineated in shadows on the retina,' Philos. Mag. 4, 262-271 (1834).

1833

D. Brewster, 'On the anatomical and optical structure of the crystalline lenses of animals, particularly that of the cod,' Philos. Trans. R. Soc. London 123, 323-332 (1833).

1830

C. W., 'Contributions to the physiology of vision. No. I,' J. R. Inst. 1, 101-117 (1830).

1827

G. B. Airy, 'On a peculiar defect in the eye, and a mode of correcting it,' Edin. J. Sci. 7, 322-325 (1827).

D. Brewster, 'Observations by the editor,' Edin. J. Sci 7, 325-326 (1827).

1824

D. Brewster, 'On the accommodation of the eye to different distances,' Edin. J. Sci. 1, 77-83 (1824).

1816

D. Brewster, 'On the structure of the crystalline lens in fishes and quadrapeds as ascertained by its action on polarised light,' Philos. Trans. R. Soc. London 106, 311-317 (1816).

1811

W. C. Wells, 'Observations and experiments on vision,' Philos. Trans. R. Soc. London 101, 378-391 (1811).

1801

T. Young, 'On the mechanism of the eye,' Philos. Trans. R. Soc. London 91, 23-88 (1801).

1793

T. Young, 'Observations on vision,' Philos. Trans. R. Soc. London 83, 169-181 (1793).

1755

T. Mayer, 'Experimenta circa visus aciem,' Commentarii Societatis Regiae Scientiarum Gottingensis 4, 97-112 (1755).

1738

W. Porterfield, 'An essay concerning the motions of our eyes. Part 2. Of their internal motions,' Edin. Med. Ess. Obs. 4, 124-294 (1738).

1737

W. Porterfield, 'An essay concerning the motions of our eyes. Part 1. Of their external motions,' Edin. Med. Ess. Obs. 3, 160-263 (1737).

1728

F. Pourfour du Petit, 'Différentes manières de connoître le grandeur des chambres de l'humeur aqueuse de l'homme,' Mém. Acad. R. Sci. 1753, 289-300. (Orig. pub. 1728.)

1704

J. Méry, 'Des mouvemens de l'iris et par occasion de la partie principale de l'organe de la vûë,' Hist. Acad. R. Sci. 23, 277-284 (1704).

1675

A. van Leeuwenhoek, 'Microscopical observations from Mr. Leewenhoeck, concerning the optick nerve,' Philos. Trans. R. Soc. London 9, 378-380 (1675).

1674

A. van Leeuwenhoek, 'More observations from Mr. Leewenhook,' Philos. Trans. R. Soc. London 9, 178-182 (1674).

1668

E. Mariotte, 'A new discovery touching vision,' Philos. Trans. R. Soc. London 3, 668-669 (1668).

A. Pecquet, 'Answer to Mr. Mariotte,' Philos. Trans. R. Soc. London 3, 669-671 (1668).

Airy, G. B.

G. B. Airy, 'On a peculiar defect in the eye, and a mode of correcting it,' Edin. J. Sci. 7, 322-325 (1827).

Albert, D. M.

D. M. Albert and D. D. Edwards, eds., The History of Ophthalmology (Blackwell Science, 1996).

Aubert, H.

H. Aubert, 'Über die Grenzen der Farben-Wahrnehmung auf den seitlichen Theilen der Netzhaut,' Arch. Ophthalmol. 3, 38-67 (1857).

Babcock, H. W.

H. W. Babcock, 'The possibility of compensating astronomical seeing,' Publ. Astron. Soc. Pac. 65, 229-236 (1953).
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Barlow, H. B.

H. B. Barlow, 'Summation and inhibition in the frog's retina,' J. Physiol. (London) 119, 69-88 (1953).

Bell, C.

C. Bell, The Anatomy of the Human Body (Longman, 1803), Vol. 3.

Bergua, A.

A. Bergua and W. Skrandies, 'An early antecedent to modern random dot stereograms--'The secret stereoscopic writing' of Ramón y Cajal,' Int. J. Psychophysiol. 36, 69-72 (2000).

Bidder, F.

F. Bidder, 'Zur Anatomie der Retina, insbesondere zur Würdigung der stabförmigen Körper in derselben,' Müllers Arch. Anat. Physiol. Wiss. Med. 1839, 371-385.

Billie, J. F.

Birch, T.

T. Birch, The History of the Royal Society of London (Millar, 1757), Vol. 3.

Bowman, W.

W. Bowman, Lectures on the Parts Concerned in the Operations on the Eye and on the Structure of the Retina, Delivered at the Royal London Ophthalmic Hospital, Moorfields, June 1847 (Longmans, 1849).

Brewster, D.

D. Brewster, 'On the optical phenomena, nature, and locality of muscae volitantes; with observations on the structure of the vitreous humour, and on the vision of objects placed within the eye,' Philos. Trans. R. Soc. Edin. 15, 377-385 (1844).

D. Brewster, 'On the development and extinction of regularly double refracting structures in the crystalline lenses of animals after death,' Philos. Trans. R. Soc. London 127, 253-258 (1837).

D. Brewster, 'On the anatomical and optical structure of the crystalline lenses of animals, particularly that of the cod,' Philos. Trans. R. Soc. London 123, 323-332 (1833).

D. Brewster, 'Observations by the editor,' Edin. J. Sci 7, 325-326 (1827).

D. Brewster, 'On the accommodation of the eye to different distances,' Edin. J. Sci. 1, 77-83 (1824).

D. Brewster, 'On the structure of the crystalline lens in fishes and quadrapeds as ascertained by its action on polarised light,' Philos. Trans. R. Soc. London 106, 311-317 (1816).

D. Brewster, Letters on Natural Magic Addressed to Sir Walter Scott, Bart (John Murray, 1832).

Brozek, J.

N. J. Wade, J. Brozek, and J. Hoskovec, 'Images of Purkinje's vision,' Hist. Philos. Psychol. 4, 1-9 (2002).

N. J. Wade and J. Brozek, Purkinje's Vision: The Dawning of Neuroscience (Erlbaum, 2001).

Burton, H. E.

Colenbrander, A.

A. Colenbrander, 'Measuring vision and vision loss,' in Duane's Clinical Ophthalmology, W.Tasman and E.A.Jaeger, eds. (Lippincott, 2001).

Cramer, A.

A. Cramer, Het Accommodatie-Vermogen, Physiologisch Toegelicht (Loosjes, 1853).

Crombie, A. C.

A. C. Crombie, 'Kepler: de modo visionis,' in Mélange Alexandre Koyré I. L'Aventure de la Science (Hermann, 1964), pp. 135-172.

Daça de Valdes, B.

B. Daça de Valdes, Uso de los Antoios (Perez, 1623).

Daxecker, F.

F. Daxecker, 'Further studies by Christoph Scheiner concerning the optics of the eye,' Doc. Ophthalmol. 86, 153-161 (1994).

F. Daxecker, 'Christoph Scheiner's eye studies,' Doc. Ophthalmol. 81, 27-35 (1992).

F. Daxecker, The Physicist and Astronomer Christopher Scheiner. Biography, Letters, Works (Leopold-Franzens-University of Innsbruck, 2004).

de La Hire, P.

P. de La Hire, 'Dissertation sur les differens accidens de la vue,' in Mémoires de Mathématique et de Physique (Anisson, 1694), pp. 233-302.

Dechales, C.

C. Dechales, Cursus seu Mundus Mathematicus (Anissons, 1674).

den Tonkelaar, I.

I. den Tonkelaar, H. E. Henkes, and G. K. Leersum, 'Antonie Cramer's explanation of accommodation,' Doc. Ophthalmol. 74, 87-93 (1990).

Descartes, R.

R. Descartes, Le Discours de la Méthode pour bien conduire le raison et chercher la vérités dans les sciences (Paris, 1637).

R. Descartes, Discourse on Method, Optics, Geometry, and Meteorology, P.J.Olscamp, trans. (Bobbs-Merrill,1965).

R. Descartes, 'La Dioptrique,' in Oeuvres de Descartes, Vol. 6, C.Adam and P.Tannery, eds. (Cerf, 1637/1902), pp. 81-228.

Donders, F. C.

F. C. Donders, On the Anomalies of Accommodation and Refraction of the Eye, W.D.Moore, trans. (New Sydenham Society, 1864).

Dreher, A. W.

Duncan, G.

G. Duncan, 'Brewster's contribution to the study of the lens of the eye: an experimental foundation for modern biophysics,' in 'Martyr of Science': Sir David Brewster 1781-1868, A.D.Morrison-Low and J.R. R.Christie, eds. (Royal Scottish Museum Studies, 1984), pp. 101-103.

Eadie, M. J.

M. J. Eadie, 'Robert Whytt and the pupils,' J. Clin. Neurosci. 7, 295-297 (2000).

Edwards, D. D.

D. M. Albert and D. D. Edwards, eds., The History of Ophthalmology (Blackwell Science, 1996).

Enoch, J. M.

J. M. Enoch, 'Early lens use; lenses found in context with their original objects,' Optom. Vision Sci. 73, 707-715 (1996).

Fahie, J. J.

J. J. Fahie, Galileo: His Life and Work (John Murray, 1903).

Ferrero, N.

N. Ferrero, 'Leonardo da Vinci: of the eye,' Am. J. Ophthalmol. 35, 507-521 (1952).

Finger, S.

N. J. Wade and S. Finger, 'The eye as an optical instrument. From camera obscura to Helmholtz's perspective,' Perception 30, 1157-1177 (2001).

S. Finger, Origins of Neuroscience. A History of Explorations into Brain Function (Oxford U. Press,1994).

Ford, B. J.

B. J. Ford, 'Instrumentation and microscopy,' in Brain, Mind, and Medicine: Essays in 18th Century Neuroscience, H.A.Whitaker, C.U. M.Smith, and S.Finger, eds. (Springer, to be published).

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Freher, P.

P. Freher, Theatrum Virorum Eruditione Clarorum (Hofmann, 1688).

Friedenwald, H.

H. Friedenwald, 'The history of the invention and of the development of the ophthalmoscope,' J. Am. Med. Assoc. 38, 549-552 (1902).

Golgi, C.

C. Golgi, 'Sulla struttura della sostanza grigia del cervello,' Gazz. Med. Ital. (Lomb.) 6, 244-246 (1873).

C. Golgi, Opera Omnia, 3 vols. (Hoepli, 1903).

Gullstrand, A.

A. Gullstrand, 'Die reflexlose Ophthalmoskopie,' Arch. Augenheilkd. 78, 101 (1911).

Gurney, H.

H. Gurney, Memoir of the Life of Thomas Young, M.D.F.R.S. (John & Arthur Arch, 1831).

Hannover, A.

A. Hannover, 'Ueber die Netzhaut und ihre Gehirnsubstanz bei Wirbelthieren, mit Ausnahme des Menschen,' Müllers Arch. Anat. Physiol. Wiss. Med. 1840, 549-558.

A. Hannover, Recherches Microscopiques sur la Systems Nerveux (Philipsen, 1844).

Harris, H.

H. Harris, The Birth of the Cell (Yale U. Press, 1999).

Harris, J.

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[CrossRef]

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Figures (15)

Fig. 1
Fig. 1

Left, Giovanni Battista della Porta (1535–1615) after an engraving in P. Freher, Theatrum Virorum Eruditione Clarorum.[227] Right, three diagrams of light passing to two eyes, and binocular combination at the chiasm (from Porta[14]).

Fig. 2
Fig. 2

Left, Platter’s[18] diagram of the human eye; right, Scheiner’s[23] diagram.

Fig. 3
Fig. 3

Left, Scheiner’s[23] illustration of viewing a point through two pinholes (Scheiner’s experiment). Right. Porterfield’s[33] diagrammatic interpretation of it.

Fig. 4
Fig. 4

Left, René Descartes (1596–1650) after an engraving in C. Perrault, Les Hommes Illustres qui ont paru en France pendent ce Siecle: avec leurs Portraits naturel.[228] Center, his diagram of the cosmic observer viewing the retinal image (from Descartes[37]). Right, his speculations regarding the changes in lens curvature in accommodation (from Descartes[37]).

Fig. 5
Fig. 5

Left, Jan Evangelist Purkinje or Purkynĕ (1787–1869) after an illustration in J. Psotničková’s Jan Evangelista Purkynĕ.[229] Purkinje images: the reflections of a candle flame from the structures of the eye, from Purkinje.[45, 63] “Figure 1. Candlelight reflection from anterior and posterior cornea and from the anterior and posterior portion of the lens. Figure 2. Candlelight reflection from the anterior surface of the cornea and the posterior surface of the lens where the image is reversed. Figure 3. Candlelight reflection from the anterior surface of the cornea and from the anterior surface of the lens where the reflection is erect. Figure 4. Semicircular umbrula [weak shadow] which projects from the iris to the anterior surface of the lens. Figure 5. A light from the substantia albuginea to the center of the anterior chamber” (Ref. [46], p. 61).

Fig. 6
Fig. 6

Left, optometer (from Porterfield[33]); center, ophthalmometer (from H. Helmholtz[230]); right, ophthalmoscope (Helmholtz[60]).

Fig. 7
Fig. 7

Left, Thomas Young (1773–1829) after a portrait in H. Gurney, Memoir of the Life of Thomas Young, M.D. F.R.S.[231] Center, horizontal and vertical sections showing the dimensions of Young’s eye, as represented in Young.[36] Right, a chart for determining the axis of astigmatism introduced by F. H. Verhoeff.[232]

Fig. 8
Fig. 8

Upper left, Hooke’s[119] grating stimulus for determining the limits of visual resolution. Lower left, Jurin’s[125] stimuli for demonstrating differences in acuity with different stimulus arrangements. Right, Mayer’s[129] figures for measuring acuity with dots, gratings, and grids.

Fig. 9
Fig. 9

The gross structure of the lens according to (left) Young,[148] (center) Helmholtz,[151] and (right) Brewster’s[152] diagram of its microscopic structure.

Fig. 10
Fig. 10

Left, mouches volantes as illustrated by La Hire.[159] Center, Purkinje’s[166] representation of retinal blood vessels. Right, Homer’s[168] diagram of the vessels over all the retina and around the fovea.

Fig. 11
Fig. 11

Left, diagram of the crow’s retina from Treviranus.[196] Right, Bowman’s[204] diagram of the retina with rods and bulbs, seen in vertical and horizontal sections.

Fig. 12
Fig. 12

Left, Kölliker’s[207] diagram of retinal structure. Center and right, illustrations from Schulze[208] showing the retina and individual rods and cones.

Fig. 13
Fig. 13

Tartuferi’s[212] illustration of retinal structure (courtesy of Marco Piccolino).

Fig. 14
Fig. 14

Structure of the retina according to Cajal (courtesy of Marco Piccolino).

Fig. 15
Fig. 15

Nobel retina. “Perceptual portraits” by Nicholas Wade of the Nobel laureates for medicine and physiology in 1967. Left, Limulus, Haldan Keffer Hartline (1903–1893). Center, Nobel colours, Ragnar Granit (1900–1991) in the structure of the retina. Right, Visual purple, George Wald (1906–1997) with the rhodopsin reaction.

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