Yellott List - Important Dates in Vision Science A...

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Important Dates in Vision Science A Chronological History of Vision Research: 1600-1960 Introduction There are many well known accounts of the history of visual science (some references are given below) but it seems hard to find a simple chronological listing of major events. Sometimes such a list can be helpful in gaining a quick historical perspective. This note presents a chronology listing 133 significant events between 1600 and 1960. In addition, for completeness sake, there is a brief preliminary section that sketches the history of visual science before 1600. All of this material is based on standard secondary sources: the author is not a specialist in the history of science, and the object here is not to contribute anything new to the history of vision research but rather simply to collate material already scattered throughout the literature--though of course the choice of "significant" events is idiosyncratic. Comments as to the accuracy and importance of the events listed will be very welcome, as will additions to the list. Please send email to Jack Yellott ( ). Visual Science Before 1600 Thanks & References Chronology: 1600-1960 1604 o Kepler's Ad Vitellionem Paralipomena : First explanation of the optics of the eye. 1610 o Galileo publishes the Siderial Messenger. First scientific look at the sky through a telescope. 1611 o Kepler's Dioptrice : First explanation of the optics of myopia. Projection theory of stereoscopic vision. 1619
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o Scheiner's Oculus : First demonstration that accommodation is an active process. First use of fixatives to preserve the eye for anatomical study. First accurate diagrams of the human eye. Discovery of the pupillary "near reflex." 1621 o Snell's law. (Kepler's optical analysis of the eye was based on a small angle, linear approximation to Snell's law.) 1625 o Scheiner: First direct observation of the retinal image. 1637 o Descartes' La Dioptrique . Corpuscular theory of light. First suggestion of point to point projection of retina onto brain (in his view, onto the walls of the ventricles). 1664 o Willis traces the optic tract to the thalamus. 1665 o Grimaldi describes diffraction (posthumously). 1666 o Newton's prism experiments begin color science. 1675 o Roemer measures the speed of light. 1678 o Briggs describes fibers in the retina. 1681 o Mariotte discovers the blind spot; articulates trichromacy of human color vision. 1682 o Newton proposes partial decussation at the optic chiasm. 1684 o First microscopic observation of the retina: Leeuwenhoek notices structures now known to be the rods and cones. 1684 o Briggs describes night blindness. 1690
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This note was uploaded on 08/12/2008 for the course PSY 380E taught by Professor Geisler during the Fall '07 term at University of Texas at Austin.

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Yellott List - Important Dates in Vision Science A...

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