How we see, how we hear

Mr Gray eyes by Tim in sanhazzay on flickr

Mr Gray eyes by Tim in sanhazzay on flickr

We’ll start by looking at the different kinds of receptors that humans have, then focus on the photoreceptors in the eye and mechanoreceptors in the ear.  Useful presentation by Mr Taylor (again!).

You need to be able to label a diagram of the eye like this one: Eye diagram

We’ll also do an eye dissection so you can relate the diagram to “reality”.  We’ll compare the different types of photoreceptors that are on the retina, namely rods and cones.  We’ll explain contra-lateral processing (right brain processing information from left eye, and vice versa). And finally we will explain certain kinds of optical illusions by looking at edge enhancement.

Cow eye dissection by Susan Tansil on flickr

Cow eye dissection by Susan Tansil on flickr

Check out lottolab.  Watch the TED video and then play around the site.  There are loads of optical illusions to keep you entertained.

We’ll label a diagram of the ear and explain how sound is perceived.  Here are some questions for consideration:-

Why do we have two ears?  What role does the pinna play in other animals? Can fish hear? What range of sounds can the human ear hear? What is a cochlear implant and how does it work?  What does it mean to be tone deaf or have perfect pitch?

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