Full Content is available to subscribers

Subscribe/Learn More  >
Proceedings Article

Image formation in the eye: very specified complexity

[+] Author Affiliations
David E. Stoltzmann

Optical Engineering of Minnesota (USA)

Proc. SPIE 5866, The Nature of Light: What Is a Photon?, 321 (August 04, 2005); doi:10.1117/12.611397
Text Size: A A A
From Conference Volume 5866

  • The Nature of Light: What Is a Photon?
  • Chandrasekhar Roychoudhuri; Katherine Creath
  • San Diego, California, United States | July 31, 2005

abstract

The formation of an image, and its correct interpretation by sighted living creatures, is a unique example of specified complexity unlike anything else in nature. While many of the functional aspects of living organisms are extremely complex, only an image requires a unique mapping process by the eye-brain system to be useful to the organism. The transfer of light from an object scene to a visual detection system (eye + brain) conveys an enormous amount of information. But unless that information is correctly organized into a useful image, the exchange of information is degraded and of questionable use. This paper examines the "connections" necessary for images to be interpreted correctly, as well as addressing the additional complexity requirement of dual-image mapping for stereovision capabilities. Statistics are presented for "simple eyes" consisting of a few pixels to illustrate the daunting task that random chance has to produce any form of a functional eye. For example, a 12-pixel eye (or camera) has 12! (479,001,600) possible pixel-to-brain (computer) wiring combinations, which can then be compared to the 126 million rods/cones of the actual human eye. If one tries to "connect the wires" (correctly interpret the information contained) in a 12-pixel image by random processes, by the time 6 pixels become correctly connected, over 99.9% of all the trials are incorrect, producing "noise" rather than a recognizable image. Higher numbers of pixels quickly make the problem astronomically worse for achieving any kind of useful image. This paper concludes that random-chance purposeless undirected processes cannot account for how images are perceived by living organisms.

© (2005) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Citation

David E. Stoltzmann
"Image formation in the eye: very specified complexity", Proc. SPIE 5866, The Nature of Light: What Is a Photon?, 321 (August 04, 2005); doi:10.1117/12.611397; http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/12.611397


Access This Proceeding
Sign in or Create a personal account to Buy this proceeding ($15 for members, $18 for non-members).

Figures

Tables

NOTE:
Citing articles are presented as examples only. In non-demo SCM6 implementation, integration with CrossRef’s "Cited By" API will populate this tab (http://www.crossref.org/citedby.html).

Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.

Related Book Chapters

Topic Collections

Advertisement


 

  • Don't have an account?
  • Subscribe to the SPIE Digital Library
  • Create a FREE account to sign up for Digital Library content alerts and gain access to institutional subscriptions remotely.
Access This Proceeding
Sign in or Create a personal account to Buy this proceeding ($15 for members, $18 for non-members).
Access This Proceeding
Sign in or Create a personal account to Buy this article ($15 for members, $18 for non-members).
Access This Chapter

Access to SPIE eBooks is limited to subscribing institutions and is not available as part of a personal subscription. Print or electronic versions of individual SPIE books may be purchased via SPIE.org.