The Neurophysiology and Psychophysics of Visual Perception

  • Richard Kittler
  • Miroslav Kocifaj
  • Stanislav Darula


The Greco-Roman civilization, referred to as the period of classical antiquity, spanned from about 800 bc to ad 500. The Greek followed by the Roman philosophers began to develop a science of optics in their investigation of the natural sciences. However, the philosophers of that era were highly religious and that influenced the science developed, which was quite affected by spiritual and religious beliefs rather than by experiment, measurement, analysis, and then determination of only the facts. However, that is easier said than done for the philosophers were developing theories, initially from a void. In the period from about 440 bc to about 270 bc, Democritus followed by Epicurus concluded that for the eyes to see an object it had to come into physical contact with the eye by pressing the air between the eye and the object, so transmitting its color and shape to the eye. This is called the “intromission theory.” However, in a variation of that intromission theory, Epicurus was of the opinion that it was not the compressed air between the object and eye that resulted in vision, but particles from the object traveling to the eyes. He hypothesized that produced vision by gradually shrinking objects through particles from the object filling the empty spaces in the object. Still, it was an intromission theory (Ackerman 1978).


Weber Fraction Stimulus Range High Luminance Scotopic Vision Photopic Vision 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard Kittler
    • 1
  • Miroslav Kocifaj
    • 1
  • Stanislav Darula
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Construction and Architecture Slovak Academy of SciencesBratislavaSlovakia

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