Overview of visual system structure and function

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The fundamental role of the visual system is to analyze properties such as form, color and motion in the environment, facilitating the generation of behaviors conducive to survival. A (happy) outcome of these computations is that humans are endowed with conscious visual perception. Despite the complexity of processing in the visual system, we experience a single, unified and continuous percept. This review describes the general anatomy and physiology of the primate visual system, emphasizing four organizational principles and processing strategies that ultimately inform perception and behavior: information processing is functionally segregated; information is encoded in a multiplexed manner; information is hierarchically processed, dependent on feedback and feedforward connectivity; vision is an active sense, with perception and eye movements tightly integrated.


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