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Departemen Anatomi FK UII
The neural retina is a multilayered
structure. These layers contain
supporting glia (Mller cells) and
astrocytes, as well as six types of
neurons that process visual input prior to
its transmission to the diencephalon.
They are the photoreceptors (100120
million rods and 67 million cones), the
conducting neurons (bipolar cells and
ganglion cells
The Cones
The cones are activated by high
intensity light (photopic vision).
They mediate sharp vision and color
Three types of cones are present in the
retina: (1) blue cones, which are sensitive
to blue light, (2) green cones, which are
sensitive to green light, and (3) red cones,
which are sensitive to red light.
The Rods
Rods are of a single type only
They are stimulated by low intensity
light; thus they transmit visual input in dim
illumination (scotopic vision) but they
cannot detect colors.
They are more concentrated in peripheral
regions of the retina.
Because rods do not provide color vision, in
dim light we can see only black, white, and
all shades of gray in between.
Visual field
The visual field of each eye is divided into two
regions: the nasal or central half and the
temporal or peripheral half.
For each eye, light rays from an object in the
nasal half of the visual field fall on the temporal
half of the retina, and light rays from an object in
the temporal half of the visual field fall on the
nasal half of the retina.
Visual information from the right half of each visual
field is conveyed to the left side of the brain, and
visual information from the left half of each visual
field is conveyed to the right side of the brain
Visual pathway
The visual pathway consists of photoreceptors,
first order and second order neurons residing in
the retina, and third order neurons in the lateral
geniculate nucleus of the thalamus
Transduction of light energy into a receptor
potential occurs in the outer segment of both
rods and cones
The first step in visual transduction is
absorption of light by a photopigment.
Light absorption initiates the events that lead to
the production of a receptor potential.
From photoreceptors, information flows through
the outer synaptic layer to bipolar cells and
then from bipolar cells through the inner
synaptic layer to ganglion cells.
The axons of ganglion cells extend posteriorly
to the optic disc and exit the eyeball as the
optic (II) nerve.
The optic nerve is enveloped in a meningeal
The optic nerves of the right and left sides form
an intersection of fibers, the optic chiasma
All ganglion cell axons arising from the temporal
half of the retina course in the lateral aspect of
the optic chiasma without decussating, to join
the optic tract of the same side.
All ganglion cell axons arising from the nasal half
of the retina decussate at the optic chiasma, and
enter the optic tract of the opposite side, to join
the temporal fibers.
Thus, each optic tract consists of ganglion cell
axons arising from both eyes (the ipsilateral
temporal half and the contralateral nasal half of
the retina).
The fibers retain a retinotopic organization in
the optic tract as it courses around the cerebral
peduncle to end and relay visual information
primarily in the lateral geniculate nucleus
(LGN) of the thalamus, which processes
visual input.
The optic nerve also ends and relays visual
information in:
(i) the superior colliculus, a mesencephalic
relay nucleus for vision having an important
function which control the extrinsic eye
(ii) the pretectal area, which mediates
autonomic reflexes such as the control of
pupillary constriction and lens
(iii) the hypothalamus, which has an
important function in circadian rhythms
(daynight) and the reproductive cycle
The superior colliculus
The superior colliculus has important functions in
the control of reflex movements that orient the
eyes, head, and neck in response to visual,
auditory, and somatic stimuli (tracking moving
objects) via its outputs (efferent projections).
Efferents from the superior colliculus include
projections to the reticular formation, the inferior
colliculus, the LGN and the pulvinar of the thalamus,
the oculomotor, trochlear, and abducens nuclei via
the medial longitudinal fasciculus (MLF), the pontine
nuclei and the cerebellum via the
tectopontocerebellar tract, and the cervical levels of
the spinal cord via the crossed tectospinal tract.
Geniculocalcarine tract (optic
radiations, thalamocortical
Axons of third order neurons originating
from the LGN form the geniculocalcarine
tract (optic radiations, thalamocortical
projections), which terminate in the primary
visual cortex
The geniculocalcarine tract fibers maintain
retinotopic organization and form an upper,
an intermediate, and a lower division.
The upper division consists of fibers
conveying information from the superior
retinal quadrants.
The lower division consists of fibers
conveying information from the inferior
retinal quadrants.
The intermediate division of the
geniculocalcarine tract consists of
fibers relaying visual information to the
primary visual cortex from the macular
region of the retina
Visual cortex
The neurons of the visual cortex respond to different visual
stimuli transmitted by neurons conveying color, motion,
three-dimensional vision, or a combination of various
visual stimuli.
The LGN projects visual information to the primary visual
The primary visual cortex projects to the secondary
visual cortex where information is processed and
subsequently relayed to the tertiary visual of the
cortex (the middle temporal area)
The tertiary visual areas function in identifying an
object as well as in determining its location and color.
The middle temporal area has an important function in
detecting moving objects.
Visual reflex
Pupillary light reflex
Pupillary dilatation refleks
Convergence accomodation reflex
Corneal blink reflex
Pupillary light reflex
The pupillary light reflex is an
autonomic response; it is mediated
independently of cortical input.
The pupillary light reflex enables the eye to
adapt to varying light intensity, which
protects the eye and also facilitates vision
Pupillary dilatation reflex
Pupillary dilation is mediated by the
sympathetic division of the autonomic
nervous system.
Pupillary dilation occurs when sympathetic
activity is dominant
Neurons of the posterior aspect of the
hypothalamus project to the ciliospinal
center of the spinal cord located in the
intermediolateral cell column of cord levels
(C8) T1T2
Here they synapse with preganglionic
sympathetic neurons.
Preganglionic sympathetic fibers exit the spinal
cord, enter the sympathetic trunk and ascend to
the superior cervical ganglion where they
synapse with postganglionic sympathetic
Postganglionic sympathetic terminate in the
dilatator pupillae muscle.
Sympathetic innervation of this muscle causes
it to contract, increasing the pupillary diameter,
resulting in mydriasis
Convergence accomodation
The convergence accommodation reflex
alters the thickness of the lens, which
facilitates the projection of a focused image
on the retina
convergence accommodation reflex,
consisting of three reflex changes
1. Convergence.
.The term convergence refers to this medial movement of
the two eyeballs so that both are directed toward the object
being viewed, for example, tracking a pencil moving toward
your eyes. The nearer the object, the greater the degree of
convergence needed to maintain binocular vision.
.This is mediated by bilateral contraction of the medial recti
muscles, which are innervated by the oculomotor nerve (CN III).
.This convergence permits the visual image to be projected and
focused on the foveae of both retinas.
.If this is not accomplished, the individual will experience
diplopia (double vision).
2. Accommodation.
Parasympathetic stimulation causes
contraction of the ciliary muscle of the
iris release the tension of suspensory
ligaments of the lens it thickens (lens
ccommodation), focusing the image on
the retina.
3. Pupillary constriction
Corneal blink reflex
When a foreign object contacts the eye, the
corneal blink reflex elicits a forceful blinking
of both eyes to protect them from possible
The corneal blink reflex consists of :
receptors (at the peripheral terminals of
pseudounipolar neurons in the ophthalmic
division of the trigeminal nerve);
an afferent limb (peripheral processes of
pseudounipolar neurons in the ophthalmic
division of the trigeminal nerve);
an integrator (spinal nucleus and main
sensory nucleus of the trigeminal nerve);
an efferent limb (facial nerve branches
to the orbicularis oculi muscle);
an effector (orbicularis oculi muscle)