Historical background

Ian P. Howard

in Perceiving in Depth

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780199764143
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199949359 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Psychology Series

Historical background

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This is a review of the history of visual science starting with the Greeks, especially with the Greek school in Alexandria. After fall of the Roman Empire progress occurred in Arabic centers of learning in Baghdad, Cairo, and Spain. In the 12th century centers of learning sprang up in Europe. In the 17th century, Kepler discovered how images are formed in the eye. After that, knowledge of the visual system progressed rapidly. The major factors in this progress are reviewed, including the discovery of how to draw in perspective, the growth of anatomy, the advent of precise instruments, neuroscience, and psychophysical methods. Special attention is paid to the discovery of the mechanism of stereoscopic vision. Finally, the history of three-dimensional display systems is reviewed.

Keywords: Greek science; Arabic science; history of neuroscience; history of perspective; display systems

Chapter.  57140 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neuroscience

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