Anatomy and physiology of the visual system between 1600 and 1900

  • Robert A. Crone


Some notion about the anatomy of the eye existed since Herophilus. The Renaissance anatomists added a few facts to our knowledge. Physiology of the eye was practically non-existent before 1600. After Kepler had demonstrated that the image was projected onto the retina, new facts and theories about the eye and vision remained rare and have therefore only sporadically appeared on these pages. The reason is that, while theories of color occupied many scholars, knowledge of the eye and the visual system stagnated. The lost ground was only made up in the nineteenth century, when new anatomical and physiological discoveries were made. These were important discoveries which are essential for the understanding of the following chapters. But it is remarkable that in the previous century the anatomy and physiology of the eye made little contribution to the theory of color.


Pigment Epithelium Bipolar Cell Lateral Geniculate Nucleus Silver Chromate Visual Nerve 
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  1. 1:.
    Parinaud, 1884, 1893.Google Scholar
  2. 2:.
    Parinaud, 1898.Google Scholar
  3. 3:.
    See von Kries, 1925.Google Scholar
  4. 4:.
    Helmholtz, 1896, p. 384.Google Scholar
  5. 5:.
    Piper, 1903.Google Scholar

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© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1999

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  • Robert A. Crone

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